Solutions for unwanted Christmas trees

By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]

By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

With the holiday season winding down, many people are starting to pack all of their holiday decorations for storage for another year.

And while that may work for some individuals, those who chose to decorate with a live Christmas tree or wreath are faced with another problem: what to do with the tree now that the holidays are over.

Residents in Sedalia have the option to take their trees to the temporary yard waste facility located on New York Avenue.

“City sanitation workers aren’t picking up trees curb-side this year,” said Joleigh Melte, Executive Administrative Assistant to the city administrator and mayor. “Residents can take their trees to the temporary landfill on New York Avenue and drop them off there.”

Melte said all of the tinsel and other decorations need to be removed from the tree before they can be dropped off at the location.

The facility is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week year round, she added.

The city recycles the trees into compost that is then available for residents to purchase.

Kent Korthas with the Missouri Department of Conservation said there are several uses for residents who live in both the city and county.

“There are several benefits to wildlife for Christmas trees once the individual is ready to remove them from their home,” Korthas said. “They can make great brush piles for small animals to seek shelter in, especially in the cold.”

Korthas said many small animals such as rabbits, quail and songbirds use the discarded trees for protection.

Like Melte, Korthas advised that all ornamentation be removed before any tree is disposed.

On a short-term basis, Korthas recommended placing the tree near a bird feeder because many birds will use the tree branches as a perch for feeding.

“If you don’t have a many trees or shrubs around your bird feeders you can always place your Christmas tree under that so the birds can nest,” Korthas said. “I don’t recommend keeping it there long-term, but it makes good cover during the winter months for the birds.”

Korthas also recommended if a property owner has a pond to use the trees as a fish habitat.

“Trees can be placed at varying depths in ponds for fish,” Korthas said. “While they are really not needed in the deepest parts of ponds they provide good protection for fish as well.

“If you can get several trees from neighbors and friends I recommend bundling them together and then weighting them down with something like a cinder block so they stay in a more permanent spot,” Korthas added.

While it is too late for this year, Korthas suggested in future years individuals might want to consider using a living Christmas tree.

Each year individuals can order a tree, such as a pine, and plant it in a container. The tree can be used inside and decorated like any Christmas tree. Later in the spring it can be planted in the homeowner’s yard, which has additional benefits to the environment.

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

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