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Goodbye Christmas … trash that tree

NATCHEZ — It’s time to trash the tree.

Though a month ago they were tall and proud, with the Christmas season behind them, Christmas trees are starting to lose a little of their dignity, their needles browning and dropping.

In the county, outside the city limits, trees can be dragged out back and lit for a bonfire, making a dignified funeral pyre for a dead evergreen that brought so much Christmas joy into someone’s home.

But in the Natchez city limits, that’s not really allowed.

However, Waste Pro Supervisor Cedric Robinson said the company will pick up any Christmas tree or branches shorter than six feet in length in the city limits.

“Anything under six feet we will be able to accommodate the public on,” Robinson said. “If they can cut it in half, that would be great, and if they can cut the other pieces in half, that would be even better.”

While in recent years Stine Lumber has offered a Christmas tree recycling program, an employee speaking for management said that would not be available this year.

But there are still ways that Christmas trees can be recycled.

Adams County Extension Service Agent David Carter said that if a homeowner has access to the machinery, a Christmas tree could be mulched and live on in a way in a future garden.

Most homeowners won’t be able to do that, but they can still save the smaller parts of the tree for their compost pile.

“The needles, the branches and the small limbs will break up really easy, and they can just take a machete or something like that and bang the small needles and branches off onto their compost,” he said.

For those interested in improving their personal aquaculture resources, sinking the tree in a pond to provide cover for small fish works well too, Carter said.

“The little fish are all going to be in the shallow end,” Carter said. “The trees are going to float when you first throw them in there, so if you want to bundle more than one of them together for that, it would be good.”

If none of those options appeal to a homeowner and they opt for the bonfire route, Carter said to be careful because Christmas trees light up and burn hot very quickly.