Now that Christmas is over and New Year’s is upon us, Richard Hentschel, a horticulturist at the University of Illinois Extension Office says there are a number of ways to recycle and reuse a live Christmas tree other than simply throwing it out to be hauled off.
“If you’re a gardener that’s got quite a bit of yard,” Hentschel explains, “you can cut the boughs off the tree and use them for mulch in the landscape, especially with our tender perennials. You could leave the tree whole and tie it to a tree trunk in your yard and make it a station for birds to hide out and nest in during the storms and the severe winter weather we may experience. You can hang strings of popcorn, apples, or oranges on the tree and have a bit of a decorated tree outside as a food source for animals during the winter. The very last thing you might do is to take the trunk that you’ve cut all of the branches out of and save it for the garden next year and use it to support any of your climbing vegetation like peas, cucumbers, or other vines.”
Hentschel says you can also use the trunk in your outdoor fire pit.
The City of Jacksonville’s Christmas Tree pick up from curbside will begin on Monday, January 6th. Citizens of Jacksonville can also haul their old tree to the City yard waste dump on Oak Street with a valid I.D.
The Village of South Jacksonville will begin its Christmas Tree curbside pick up the week of January 6th.