Science

What Happens To All Those Christmas Trees?

Christmas trees getting chipped at Grant Park's "Bring One for the Chipper" program.
Christmas trees getting chipped at Grant Park's "Bring One for the Chipper" program.
Credit Myke Johns / WABE
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Whether you’ve enjoyed your Christmas tree for a week or a month, eventually, you’re going to have to take it down.

Some counties will pick up your tree curbside, just like yard waste. In other places, you may have to bring your tree to a fire station or a Home Depot. Then tree gets chipped. And then what?

“We let it basically decompose at our landfill,” said Gordon Burkette, director of Keep Dekalb Beautiful. “We rotate it and then provide it free back to the public in the form of compost and mulch. It’s great to cut this Georgia clay and use it to grow flowers and tomatoes and other things.”

Gwinnett and Cobb offer free Christmas tree mulch, too. Other counties use the chipped trees for mulching parks and medians.

And then some get sunk underwater, providing habitat for fish, the same way a fallen log might.

Getting-rid-of-your-tree resources: