How to get rid of a Christmas tree

Post-holiday Christmas tree clearing may begin a few days after the big day or, for some, will traditionally take place on Twelfth Night which falls on January 5 or 6.

Whichever date you chose to get rid of the old focal point of holiday decorations, trees can soon be seen littered in communities waiting to be treated before sometimes ending up in a landfill or dump. incinerator.

But there are sustainable ways to dispose of your beloved Christmas tree that don’t take up space in a local landfill.

Tree Canada, a national nonprofit organization focused on Canada’s forests, says people have many options for giving back to Mother Nature during the holidays.

In a blog post dated December 12, 2022, the organization breaks down five ways Canadians can reduce their environmental impact and extend the life of the Christmas tree.

To be properly culled, trees must be free of ornaments and garlands. Once stripped, Tree Canada says the tree can be made into mulch, which can be used as fertilizer.

« It preserves soil moisture, moderates soil temperature, and releases nutrients as it decomposes, » the website says.

For those with a garden, the organization says keeping it upright to allow animals and birds to nest inside throughout the winter gives back to the ecosystem.

Some municipalities, like the City of Ottawa, have programs where people can donate their trees for use in public spaces.

The National Capital Commission (NCC), the Ottawa agency that manages the Rideau Canal, is asking residents to donate their Christmas trees at the end of the season. From there, the NCC uses the trees along the canal to beautify the area.

In Ayr, Ontario, a local farm is asking people to donate their trees to feed the goats. The Rodrigues farm says the trees are a « great source of nutrients » for their animals.

When snow blankets most of Canada, farm animals struggle to get food, Sarah Rodrigues, co-owner of Rodrigues Farm, told CTV News Kitchener.

« It’s also a natural dewormer, which saves money on sort of medications and other things, » she said.

According to the farm, goats eat almost every inch of the tree. Tough parts, like the stump, are then broken down to create mulch.

Tree Canada said most municipalities collect trees through a yard waste or green bin program.

The City of Calgary is asking residents to remove Christmas decorations and cut the tree into smaller pieces for easy disposal in the green bin. If the bin is full, the City advises people to use yard waste bags.

From there, the city composts the trees and then holds « compost giveaway » events in the new year.

Calgary also has a tree drop-off program open from December 26 to January 31.

Tree Canada says artificial trees cannot be recycled, but asks Canadians to reuse the tree for many years, reducing their impact « with each passing year ».

« If you’re willing to part with your tree, be sure to donate it or give it to someone in need so it can be reused for years to come, » the website says. of Tree Canada.


Much depends on personal traditions. Some will keep a Christmas tree until it begins to dry out, when it becomes a fire hazard, while others may decide to follow traditions that have been nurtured for centuries.

Twelfth Night isn’t just a Shakespeare play, it’s the day Christians take down the Christmas decorations and feast.

Landing on January 5 or 6, depending on which denomination is followed, the Twelfth Night is celebrated before a feast of Epiphany which may also be known as Three Kings Day. In the Bible, Epiphany is when the three kings, or wise men, visited Jesus with gifts.

It is also celebrated for the day when the divinity of Jesus manifested, according to Christian belief.

« This season of festivities has been celebrated in England since Anglo-Saxon times, when the ninth-century Christian King Alfred the Great banned all work on the twelve days of Christmas, » says the Department of Culture’s website. Canadian History and Sport.

Some people think that if the decorations are left after the twelfth night, it will bring bad luck to the house.


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