Source: Spectrum News
This time of year brings joy to our homes and families but also the perennial debate about real vs. artificial Christmas trees. In many homes, the pine scent of a real fir filling the house and the adventure of choosing a tree together is an important tradition around the holidays. But once the season is over what do we do with the tree? Rather than just tossing the tree after the season ends families can choose to put it to good use in a number of ways in North Carolina.
Many municipalities around the state will recycle the tree, most free of charge, into mulch that is then used by residents in landscaping and gardening. A number will even pick up the tree for free from the curb.
Outside of mulching, there are some unique ways you can put your tree to good use to feed and entertain animals around the state and even prevent beach erosion.
Providence Farm in Guilford County takes donated trees and uses them to feed and entertain the goats, sheep, and chickens. The pine needles themselves have a variety of beneficial vitamins in them including vitamin C. The farm also uses the trees to provide habitats for birds and other animals.
Tiger World in Rowan county offers a “Bring a Tree, Get in Free” promotion that runs through Jan. 17. At Tiger World the trees are used to provide enrichment for the animals that reside there. The trees entertain and help the big cats carry out some of their natural behaviors, such as scratching, stalking, and marking.
In the Outer Banks, your tree can be used for sand dune restoration. The use of Christmas trees is very beneficial as they rapidly decompose and supply grass seeds with the nutrients they need to germinate. Using pine trees to promote grass growth helps reduce the negative effects of wind and water.
Before donating your tree it is important to be sure and remove all decorations and lights to ensure we keep our environment and wildlife safe.