If you have a fresh tree in your home, check for dryness. Most tree fires happen between Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Trees dry out quickly in a warm home, making it a fire hazard.
In addition to making sure you water your fresh tree daily, it is now time to check your tree for dryness. If needles are falling off or when you brush your hand on a branch needles fall off, the tree is a fire hazard. It is time to take the tree down. You can consider leaving it for a few days if you keep the lights unplugged and so long as it is not near any heating device, burning fireplace or other flames such as candles.
When taking your tree down and discarding it, follow recommendations from the National Christmas Tree Association. Because fresh trees are biodegradable they can be reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes.
NEVER burn branches or needles!
The sap in many trees such as pines and firs can explode upon igniting. These can explode out of control quickly, sparks shooting across the room, and creosote can cause a hire in the chimney.
If you did not place a plastic tree bag , available at most hardware stores, under your tree stand when you set it up, wrap the tree in plastic before carrying it out (always keeping young children away from the plastic). Sweeping the needles up is best as needles can clog vacuum cleaners.
- Yard waste: Cut your tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container.
- Curbside recycling pick-up: Check with your local city or county for tree pick up schedules.
- Drop off recycling center: Again check with your local city or county for free drop-off locations.
- Tree recycling/mulching programs: Again check with your city or county for tree recycling and mulching programs that shred and chip trees to make mulch for gardens.
- Nonprofit pickup: Check with local Boy Scout troops or other nonprofit organizations that offer tree pick-up services. Usually for a small donation.
To learn more about Recycle/Reuse Programs for recycled and reused Real Christmas Trees nationwide visit:
- Animal Enrichment at Busch Gardens - Williamsburg, Virginia
- Salmon Spawning - Northwest Oregon
- Rebuild Sand Dunes after Hurricane Sandy - Midway Beach, New Jersey
- Rebuilding an Island - Easton, Maryland
- Wildlife Habitat - Porter County, Indiana
- Mulch for Planting - Georgia
- Dune Restoration - Gulf Shores, Alabama
- Rebuilding the Louisiana Coastline - Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
- Home for the Herons - Cook County, Illinois
- Giving Back to the Community - San Diego, California
- Improving Fishing Areas - Keene, New Hampshire
- Building Better Parks - Clarksville, Tennessee
- Fueling Our Nation's Industry - Tomahawk, Wisconsin
- Turning Trees into Electricity - Burlington, Vermont