Time to recycle those trees

Published 2:16 am Sunday, December 30, 2007

Instead of sending those dry used up old Christmas trees to the county dump, recycle them and turn them into mulch or a new habitat for the fishes.

This year there is a program to recycle Christmas trees and turn them into something useful again, mulch. While residents in the south end of Pearl River County will have to make the trip to Poplarville to donate their trees, the trip could provide them with a free oak sapling.

Chris Kimbell, with Southern Vegetation Management, will offer his company’s services to save space in our county’s landfill, while possibly providing the city with mulch for their parks.

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Between now and Jan. 7 Kimbell said live Christmas trees can be dropped off at Longleaf Farm and Garden on Main Street in Poplarville during the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. The first 50 to 60 people who recycle their trees in the program will receive an oak sapling already potted and ready for planting. The saplings were donated by Miller’s Nursery in Poplarville.

Recycled Christmas trees will be chipped and donated to the City of Poplarville if they decide to use them. If the city declines the chippings then they will be available to the public free of charge, Kimbell said.

“They’re not going to be sold or anything,” Kimbell said.

Donated trees should be free of tinsel, ornaments, lights and other foreign debris. Flocked trees, trees which have had an artificial snow like substance added to them, will be accepted in this program, Kimbell said.

There is no limit to the number of accepted trees.

“We’ll take as many as we can get,” Kimbell said. “We don’t mind, we’ll chip ‘em till they’re gone.”

This is the first year Kimbell has offered this recycling service but plans to expand on it next year, hopefully with some help from local Boy Scout troops.

“Next time will definitely be bigger and better,” Kimbell said.

If troops decide to participate Kimbell said he will ask them to conduct a curb side pick up service. Donations for the curb side pick up will be requested and will benefit that troop.

Another option to recycle the trees entails using them as fish habitats in private waterways. Depositing old Christmas trees in public water ways is not recommended unless explicit permission has been granted.

If residents have a private body of water on their land, or access to one via a family member, friend or a property owner’s permission, they can provide fish with a place to gather, according to http://msucares.com/news/print/fwnews/fw06/061219.html.

Using old trees in bodies of water not only provides fish with a place to congregate, but fishermen with a lucky spot, the site states.

To properly secure a tree, or better yet a few trees, tie multiple trees together and weigh them down with weights or put the trunk of the tree in a bucket of concrete, the site states. Do not place flocked or artificial trees in ponds. As with chipping a tree all lights, ornaments, tinsel and other decorations should be removed prior to their placement in a water body.

Safety should be a concern if the option to recycle a tree in a water body is used. While in a boat the use of life jackets is recommended since it’s easy to fall out. Having someone along for the ride will add another level of safety, the site states.