A scraggly branch, really no more than a few pine needles, is selected by a boy from a lot of gaudy aluminum trees. Charlie Brown’s story hasn’t changed in nearly 50 years, the young man’s success at finding the true meaning of Christmas reflected in the glistening decorations bestowed by his friends on the skinny natural tree.
“The best we can hope for at closing time on the 24th is that we try to give them away at some point to people who might need them,” said Mark Holler, owner of Gingko Gardens in the District. “Some may be taken, but fortunately, we plan well. We don’t have a lot of waste. As for the others, we try to make certain they are utilized in recycling, like community gardens, or chipped into mulch.”
Mulching is often the fate for post-Christmas trees. The firs, spruces, pines and cedars that have brightened homes during the holiday season are ground into pieces for homeowners to feed their springtime gardens.
An increasing number of government agencies and clever businesses are using leftover trees for more than compost. The trees can be used as homes for fish, a small town’s energy supply, snacks for exotic animals and even barriers against Mother Nature.
Headed to the beach
After Superstorm Sandy, residents along the New Jersey coastline came home to leveled communities and flooded homes, but Bradley Beach just needed a good sweep.
“We’re in the process now of restoring our beach after the hurricane, moving sand away from the boardwalk,” said Julie Schreck, the mayor of Bradley Beach. “The dunes did their job; they resisted the onslaught of the ocean. When the ocean finally started to punch through the dunes were further compacted and there was far less destruction.”
For more than a decade, the town has placed old Christmas trees in the beach sand. Flanked by parallel lines of fencing, the yuletide sentries catch sand that blows in from the beach.
“It sets in the trees, and through the action of the wind, packs the sand,” Ms. Schreck said. “Some towns just bulldoze sand into places and call it a dune. That’s a very unstable pile of sand. When you allow the natural action, it’s more stable and resilient.”
It takes several seasons to bury an entire tree, but once the dune is about 4 feet high, the town plants dune grass, which takes root and helps stabilize the sand. Though she couldn’t give an exact number, Ms. Schreck said thousands of Christmas trees are buried in dunes along the one-mile stretch of beach.
“There’s a lot of really creative programs for whole trees post-consumer use,” Mr. Dungey said. “Whether you’ve got 100 left over or just one from your house, it’s important to find out who is going to use that plant material and what kind of program they’re doing locally.”
Appearances countView Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
Challenge the political status quo. Realize that you make better decisions than the bureaucrats in D.C.?
A politically conservative and morally liberal Hebrew alpha male hunts left-wing viper
Sometimes life requires a paradigm twist.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc