Some folks will leave the tree up for days or weeks, but if it’s a live tree it won’tb e long before it’s starting to look a bit dead. When it’s time to haul it back out, forester Dennis Adams says you have several options. Some communities have recycling programs to put the tree to use, and Adams says his wife puts it out in the back yard to serve as a bird feeder the rest of the winter, with suet balls for decoration and food. Another option is to break it down and use the wood and branches. Cut off the branches, use the trunk/stem fod firewood and the rest for mulch in the garden, rather than taking the whole thing to the dump. For many, though, it won’t be a choice they have to make. While the forester doesn’t hink Christmas trees are any less popular, he does see more people using artificial trees, as the use of “live” trees in homes is decreasing. Check with your city’s public works or sanitation department to find out whether there’s a date for tree pickup, an extra charge, or rules like not using the large plastic “tree bags” sold in stores.