Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree – Part II

Well, it is just about time to take down the Christmas tree.  This is the part that always makes me sad. Our tree is a plump one and I went with white lights this year. With the garland, it just glows and is so pretty. Except for the fact that the needles will begin falling off soon, I almost hate to take it down. Plus, there is always the question of what to do with it once it is down.  I did some research this year to see what my options were.

One tip I read was to put a plastic tree bag under the tree stand when you set the tree up. After you take the decorations off, you just pull the bag up over the branches and out it goes. Little or no left over needles to clean up. OK, admittedly that would have been helpful before we put up the tree. But I try to plan ahead; I found some tree bags at Flowerland that are biodegradable and should work very nicely next year.

Another related tip: Sweep up as many of the dropped needles as you can with a broom and dust pan. They can clog up your vacuum cleaner.

Once you have the tree out of the house, check with your local department of public works or trash service to see what type of recycling is being offered – usually curb side pick-up or designated drop-off locations. The following local communities are offering tree drop-off events:

Wyoming, Grandville, Grand Rapids (several locations), East Grand Rapids, Walker (3 locations), Kentwood, Courtland Township, Cedar Springs, Alpine Township, Caledonia, Plainfield Township, Lowell Township, Sparta, Kent City and Holland

Each community has its own requirements as far as dates for pick-up/drop-off, bagged/not bagged, who can utilize the location, so you will want to check the web or give them a call for details.

Be aware, if your tree is “flocked,” you won’t be able to recycle it.  A “flocked” tree is one that has been spray-painted white to give it a “wintry” look.

Other ideas for used Christmas trees:

  • Put it in your backyard or garden and use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary.  Put fresh orange slices or strung popcorn on it for food; the branches will provide shelter.
  • Since a Christmas tree is biodegradable, you can remove the branches, run them through a chipper and use them as mulch in the garden.
  • Some people burn their Christmas trees, others say don’t do it. It’s up for debate. Some contend it will contribute to creosote buildup and risk a chimney fire. Others argue that getting your chimney cleaned regularly lessens that problem.