Monday, December 27, 2010

Disposing of Christmas Trees in Metro DC Area

If you are looking for the best way to dispose of your Christmas tree, first consider some of these ideas for using your tree in your garden.

If none of those ideas appeal to you, there are different rules for tree disposal depending on where you live.

In Fairfax County, if your tree is less than 8 feet, you can put it out by the curb during the first two weeks of January for no additional cost. If your tree is larger than 8 feet, contact your trash hauler for collection details.

The Montgomery County solid waste website says: We will collect Christmas trees on your recycling day from Monday, December 27, 2010 through Friday, February 4, 2011. Please put your Christmas tree at the curb by 7 a.m. on your collection day.

For District residents, the website says: Holiday trees and wreaths will be picked up curbside from January 3 to January 15. Remove all decorations and place the greenery in the treebox space in front of your home between Sunday, January 2, and Sunday, January 9. Please do not put the trees in plastic or cloth bags. Any trees not collected by January 15 should be set out with your trash to be picked up as space in the trash trucks allows over the following weeks.

Arlington Virginia tree pickup info: Christmas Tree Collection will be from January 3-14, 2011 on your regular refuse day. Since trees will be ground into wood mulch, please remove the tree stand, lights, and decorations. Please do not place the tree in a plastic bag. More Info

In Frederick, Md., residents can drop off their trees at the following drop off points starting Dec. 27 and ending on Jan. 31.
  • Harry Grove Stadium in the Lower Lot
  • Husky Park (Yard 2) - Highland Street
  • Max Kehne Park - West 7th Street
  • Taskers Chance Park - Key Parkway behind Westridge Shopping Center

Recycle your Christmas tree in the garden

If you are like my husband and me, you keep your Christmas tree around as long as possible. We keep ours up and decorated in the house at least until New Year's, but even after that, we try to use it up as much as we can around our yard.

When we first take it outside, we prop it up outside of my office window and hang treats for the birds and any other critters that dare to crawl out of their warm hiding places looking for a snack. We hang an assortment of items such as pieces of fruit, suet or pinecones filled with peanut butter and bird seed. Even just laying the tree outside in a protected part of the yard can provide shelter for some types of wintering wildlife, including rabbits.

Another use for a leftover Christmas tree is to trim off some of the branches and lay them in the garden as an extra layer of warmth against the cold winter temperatures.

One use that many gardeners never think of is to use their discarded tree as a snow fence to help conserve water in the spring.

This is such a clever idea that I wish I could take credit for it, but I actually read it online on a a website called Thrifty Fun.

The post, entitled Conserve Water with a Snow Fence, suggests that proper placement of your discarded Christmas tree can help you to redirect the springtime snow melt to help water your gardens.

If you live in an area with harsh winters, strong winds and steady snowfall can create a lot of drifting snow. Believe it or not, this presents you with a great opportunity to conserve water. By installing a snow fence, you can effectively capture snow and create drifts in areas where you need additional snow to melt in the spring. You can read the full article here.

When you are ready to dispose of your tree, there are different rules for curbside pickup, depending on where you live. Read Disposing of Christmas Trees in the Metro DC area for more information.

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