Not everyone has switched to artificial trees for Christmas and good for you. The problem is: what do you do with it before it becomes a fire hazard in your living room.
You’re A Good Man
You could always save it in your yard or garage and let it age like a fine wine. Actually it will age like the rotting piece of organic matter that it is. If you do it right though, you’ll end up with a withered trunk and maybe one branch. This gives you a perfect Charlie Brown Christmas tree for next year. Grab your neighbors’ tree from the curb and make a few of them, they might be in style and worth a few bucks next Christmas.
Stick It Where the Sun Does Shine
If you bought a living tree, you can always plant it in your yard. You’re going to need a pretty big yard if you want to make this a tradition though. You might try it once and see what happens, before clearing out the north forty for the following years.
Return to Your Roots
A lot of cities will offer pick-up or drop off spots for the old dead trees. They chop them up into mulch which is then usually returned to the community. This way it gets re-cycled into compost and that benefits everyone. Especially those of you who have this pick-up service and can just drag the carcass out to the curb.
Feed the Goat
If you live on the western slope of Colorado, folks at the Top of the Hill Ranch in Colbran, The Little MOOO Ranch in Fruita, or the 5-R Livestock Company in Loma want your trees for their goats. Supposedly, goats can devour a tree in less than an hour and can use the extra roughage during the winter. They must have a heck of a digestive system or that could get painful.
Burn Baby Burn
If you have a chiminea, stove-pot, or fire-pit in your back yard or on your patio, throw that old tree in; nothing lights up the night sky like an old dried up tree. Use it as an educational experience for the kiddies as you explain why forest fires are so deadly. Use it as a fire-starter when you have no kindling. Better yet, use it for the “Wow” factor when the bunch of drunks you also call your neighbors, gather around the fire-pit next summer.
The Art Of
If you’re the creative type, which we’ve ruled out since you’re reading this article, you can chop it up for arts and crafts time. Slice up the trunk and coat the slices with poly-whatever-it-is and you have coasters. Heck coat the whole thing up and just call it art.
Be a Good Neighbor
Don’t just throw it over the fence into the neighbors’ yard. They always figure out where it came from, trust us on this. Also, if your trash company charges to dispose of them, don’t just toss it with the neighbors’ trash; it’s too obvious and odds are if your neighborhood is like ours, the guy on the other side already did. Make some calls, there are sometimes parks and lakes that use them for fill or fish ponds. You may have to carry it to them but someone will usually pick your dead tree for some reason or other.
Whatever you decide to do with it, remember, those of us who have switched to artificial trees don’t have any of these problems.
by Michael Ryan