Some Iowans may be nostalgic and don’t want to take down their Christmas trees but if you had a live tree, it’s very much dead now and needs to be tossed to the curb.
As you un-deck the halls, Buzz Warren at the National Christmas Tree Association says you can easily recycle that tree — or tree-cycle it.
“There are recycling programs in every major city and most smaller cities and counties all over the country,” Warren says.
Old Christmas trees find plenty of new uses when they’re hauled away by the professionals or dropped off at a recycling center.
Warren says the trees are picked up, chipped and then used as mulch to cover hiking trails, running paths and for erosion control. In some areas, the trees are weighted and sunk in lakes for fish habitats. For some Iowans, the holiday season continues through Twelfth Night, which falls on January 6th.
The tradition may include burning the Christmas tree in the fireplace. Forester Charles Barden says it may be a family tradition, but it’s exceptionally dangerous. “Fresh evergreens, pines, spruces and firs have a lot of pitch, a lot of resin in the wood, and they can cause some fireworks when they’re in the fireplace,” Barden says.
“They can throw some hot sparks across the room, even a burning ember, you have these little explosions due to these pitch pockets and that could be a fire hazard.” Barden says there are several-environmentally friendly ways to recycle your tree instead.