A new option for Christmas trees

by | January 8, 2019 7:00 am

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 at 3:55 am

The Christmas tradition of decorating a live tree for the holiday is long-standing. Each year, 25 to 30 million live Christmas trees are sold. People take them home to drape with tinsel, adorn with ornaments and wrap with garland.

However, after the holidays, 25 to 30 million households now need to dispose of the tree. Although fewer and fewer trees end up in landfills each year due to awareness and an ever-expanding list of options for recycling the trees, many people are still searching for alternatives to simply tossing out the tree.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) may have an answer, as they have a new way to repurpose old Christmas trees.

According to SCDNR, trees can be “put to good use for fish or wildlife, like for erosion control or as brush piles to provide resting and cover for small animals. In addition to benefiting small game such as quail and rabbits, brush piles constructed of Christmas trees can help birds such as sparrows, towhees and wrens.”

The trees can also be used to maintain fish attractor sites by acting as natural reefs for freshwater fish, with sites at all the major South Carolina reservoirs, including Lake Marion.

Trees are sunk into the reservoirs, and aquatic insects build thriving colonies in the branches and needles. Small fish arrive to feed on the insects, and larger fish follow, to feed on the smaller fish.

However, the SCDNR asks that people not simply toss their trees into the lakes or drop them at marked state fish attraction areas. SCDNR knows which trees are best suited for which purposes, and they ask that residents drop off the trees at a designated drop-off area.

The closest drop-off is in Berkeley County in Bonneau at 305 Black Oak Road and will be taking trees until January 10, 2019.

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