Every year, thousands of households must dispose of live evergreen trees used as part of the Christmas holiday tradition. Some experts suggest that a live tree should be kept indoors no longer than three weeks, since it could become a fire hazard after that time. There are actually several different ways to dispose of a Christmas tree properly, depending on the local governmental services available. In some places, the city will pick up your old tree for you, while in others, there may be a designated place to drop it off. Of course, trees can also be repurposed for other uses.
Some cities designate specific times for curbside Christmas tree pickup. Once all of the decorations have been removed, along with the stand, the tree should be carried out to the same location as other garbage or yard waste receptacles. On the specific day of pickup, a city sanitation vehicle will arrive to cart it away.
Other cities may offer a free Christmas tree mulching program. You can transport your tree to a designated area, where trained workers will feed the limbs and trunk through a powerful mulcher. The finished mulch will eventually be recycled as plant cover for city-owned trees or offered to the general public as a free gardening product. Homeowners can also rent a portable mulcher for tree disposal if commercial services are not available.
A homeowner may also choose to convert the wood into an outdoor bird or small animal feeder. Once the tree has been removed from the home, it can be filled with suet and various feeds. The branches can provide shelter for small animals or birds during the winter months. Once spring arrives, it can remain as a natural shelter until it disintegrates, or it can be converted into ground cover for plants and other trees.
Some wildlife management organizations also accept leftover Christmas trees for use in wildlife refuges and lakes. These trees could be placed in deep woods for shelter, or sunk in a lake to form habitats for fish. Homeowners who wish to dispose of a tree in an environmentally sound manner should contact local wildlife management agencies for additional details on recycling programs.