Recycled trees — a gift to the environment

Published 11:35 am Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Instead of disposing of your cut Christmas tree, why not recycle it into garden materials or wildlife habitat?

Jennifer Gagnon, Virginia Forest Landowner Education program coordinator, said fresh-cut Christmas trees can be recycled or repurposed into natural products, wildlife habitat or feeding areas to attract wildlife.

Trunks and branches can be used as mulch for gardens or as bedding for animal stalls, Gagnon said.

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Before recycling trees, remove all ornaments, lights and stands. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service notes that leaving strings of popcorn and cranberries will attract wildlife to the trees.

Old Christmas trees also can be used to build brush piles, which provide cover for rabbits and other small animals. Place the brush pile near other thick bushes to encourage animals to use it, the fish and wildlife service recommends. If you have a pond on your property, weight the tree and sink it in deep water. This artificial reef will soon attract crappie and other pan fish.