January 5, 2012

MDC Offering to Recycle Area Christmas Trees

Area residents have rang in the new year and likely opened the last of the Christmas presents. There still is one gift left for those who had a live Christmas tree in 2011.

The Missouri Department of Conservation will host a tree recycling program for all the unwanted Christmas trees. Donors can leave their trees in the parking lot area of MDC's Indian Hills Conservation Area on Highway 15 south of Memphis.

Donors are asked to please remove all decorations, tree stands and tinsel before leaving the trees at the site. Trees will be accepted through January 15th.

The trees will be used to construct brush piles at the conservation area to enhance wildlife habitat for rabbit, quail and other small game.

For more information, contact Darlene at 660-341-3839.

If you are unable to participate in the program, conservationists also recommend the use of recycled Christmas trees as fish habitat. Attaching a weight to the trees, allows them to be sunk to the bottom of farm ponds where they provide habitat for fish as well as target areas for fishermen to focus their attention.

Nationwide, an estimated 30-35 million Christmas trees are harvested each year for use during the holidays. According to the University of Illinois Extension, more than 70 million Christmas trees are planted each year, with a maturity level being reached in seven to 10 years.

Extension experts noted that more than 90% of real Christmas trees are recycled each year in conservation efforts, for gardening or even simply for backyard bird habitat.

Nationwide, recycling programs for Christmas trees have helped stabilize coastlines in southern states, and have also helped protect similar landlines in marshlands. Recycled trees are also used to create mulch and as sources for renewable energy according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

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