Saturday, December 24, 2016 By: Ask A Master Gardener

Options for Disposal of Christmas Trees

Repurposing Christmas trees benefits environment

Brian Jervis: Ask a Master Gardener

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Q: Can my Christmas tree be placed curbside with my trash for city pick-up? R.M., Tulsa
A: Yes, the city of Tulsa will take your Christmas tree, along with your trash on your regular pick-up day. They do recommend the tree be 6 feet in length or less and suggest cutting it up, if your tree is longer.
However, there are several other options for your tree that are more environmentally friendly than sending them to the trash to be burned.
They may be used for a bird shelter, mulch for your garden beds, submerged in a fishing hole, shredded, or taken to the Tulsa Green Waste site.
Trees may be shredded into mulch in a couple of ways. All of these methods involve removing all tinsel and other decorations beforehand.
First, Southwood Landscape and Garden Center, 9025 S. Lewis Ave., and Owasso Tree and Berry Farm will take live-cut trees and recycle them for either mulch or fish shelters. You need not have bought your tree from these businesses for them to accept it.
Another way to recycle your tree, if you are able, is to take it to the city of Tulsa’s Green Waste Site. It is located at 2100 N. 145th East Ave. and is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., closing only on city holidays. The service is free with proof of Tulsa residency. At the green waste site, you may also obtain all of the free woodchip mulch you may need. In addition, free firewood is available.
Birds need sanctuaries from the cold and predators in winter. Christmas trees near a feeder offer a great refuge until spring and trees begin leafing out. You can also help them out by placing treats such as peanut butter and suet on the limbs for a high energy source. This would be an interesting project for a child.
Recycled Christmas trees also work well submerged into a lake or pond as a fish shelter. These piles of trees are productive for certain types of fish. This is especially true for attracting crappie.
The smaller limbs and fronds can be removed and be placed in the garden bed as a green mulch. After removing the limbs, the remaining trunk can be used as a stake in the garden. The limbs used as mulch will decay over time, and you will reap not only the benefits of a mulch, but also the nutrients they release onto the soil.
These limbs also may be added to your compost pile as a source of green material to help balance the brown material such as leaves. Green (nitrogen source) and brown (carbon source) are needed by the microbes that break down the material. For those new to composting, OSU has an informative fact sheet, HLA-6448, “Backyard Composting in Oklahoma,” available with an online search or from the OSU Tulsa Master Gardeners website.

Garden tips
§  Don’t forget to keep the compost pile watered. The decay process to produce garden-friendly compost continues in winter if the pile is large enough and kept watered and turned.
§  Cover strawberry plants with a mulch about 3-4 inches thick if plants are prone to winter injury.
§  Wait to prune fruit trees until late February or March.
§  Wilting and drooping of leaves on evergreen trees and shrubs is common when the temperatures drop low. This is a way pla


Post a Comment