Getting rid of Christmas trees takes some preparation

By Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 12/23/19

CLAY COUNTY – Christmas trees, real and fake, will come down soon after the holiday season. While artificial trees will be stored back in boxes, disposing of a fresh tree takes a little …

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Getting rid of Christmas trees takes some preparation

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – Christmas trees, real and fake, will come down soon after the holiday season. While artificial trees will be stored back in boxes, disposing of a fresh tree takes a little preparation.

While it’s as easy as knowing which days yard and garbage is picked up, there are some things you need to know before a real tree hits the curb.

“Remove all decorations including lights, ornaments and tinsel, and remove the tree stand,” a county representative said.

Because garbage is separated into specific ways at the Clay County Waste Management Facility near Green Cove Springs, it’s important that any decorations be removed from your tree, real or fake, since glass and plastic are handled differently at the dump.

A fake tree should be thrown away on regular garbage collection days. Considering artificial trees are made of plastic and some pieces of metal, they’re treated just as any other plastic or metal garbage. If possible, collapse the tree into smaller pieces.

Keep in mind, the longer you wait to throw away a real tree. As trees dry out, it’s more likely to become a fire hazard and to shed more needles.

If the tree is a real tree, it needs to be treated as natural product like tree trimmings and leaves. A real tree should be placed outside for pickup on yard waste collection days. It needs to be cut in half if the tree is larger than six feet to make it easier to be recycled at the dump.

Other options include throwing a tree in a large pond or lake so it can serve as a natural food and habitat for fish. You also can mulch the pine needles for ground cover and some communities encourage trees to be left on sand dunes that have been damaged by tropical storms.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are approximately 25-30 million real Christmas trees sold in the county each year. There are roughly 350 million Christmas Trees growing on tree farms in America alone.

If your tree is artificial, it’s likely that it was made in China as 80% of all artificial trees worldwide are manufactured in China, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

It takes an average of seven years for a Christmas tree to grow to seven feet, but some trees can take as little as four years or as long as 15 years depending on the variety.

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