By Mark Rountree
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Christmas has come and gone.
Now, what are you going to do with your Christmas tree?
The city of Stillwater is offering two options for disposing of your live Christmas tree.
The first option is to drop the tree off at the Convenience Collection Center, 807 S. Perkins Road. There is no charge for this service.
“It’s the easiest way to dispose of your tree,” said Ian Groshong, collection center coordinator.
Groshong said residents do not have to produce identification or a water bill, just haul the tree to the drive-through collection facility.
Another option is to prepare the tree for yard waste collection. Bundles must be shorter than four feet long and less than 18 inches across. Bundles must weigh less than 50 pounds.
Groshong said many people purchase tree bags to wrap the trees so that needles don’t go everywhere.
The collection center has offered the free Christmas tree disposal service for many years. Groshong said hundreds and possibly more than 1,000 people take advantage of the service each year.
He said people will drop off trees as soon as the day after Christmas. He has accepted trees as late as February. There is no end date when trees must be dropped off.
Payne County Extension Educator Nathan Anderson said there are other ways to dispose of your tree.
Anderson said some Christmas trees are designed to be re-planted. They are sold with the root ball wrapped in a burlap sack. After Christmas, the tree can be re-planted outside.
Another option would be to mulch the tree and spread the compost in a garden area.
Anderson said rural families have been known to toss the tree in a family pond as a method of fish habitat development.
Anderson said residents are not permitted to dispose of Christmas trees in city lakes or streams.
Payne County Extension Horticulturalist Keith Reed said people can burn Christmas trees in a fire place or wood stove as long as the tree has been cut up in short units.
“Christmas trees will burn very quickly,” he said.
Rural residents also can dispose of trees on their personal property, providing nesting places and shelter for wildlife during the cold winter months.
Trees can also be used as a wind block to protect porches or garden areas from harsh winter winds.