News

Your Christmas Tree Can Help Wildlife


It’s the dreaded post-Christmas party. You know the one. Where you incinerate the wrapping paper in the burn barrel out back, package dinner leftovers in containers or feed it to the dog, and dismantle all the holiday cheer.

Most of the Christmas decorations are reusable, but for a live tree, well, that just won’t keep for another year. For those of us in rural America, hauling the tree to the woods after the holidays is commonplace. Turns out that is the correct approach.

Actually, the Missouri Department of Conservation considers it “one last gift” we give to wildlife.

Recycling a live Christmas tree is to place it in a backyard to offer cover for small wildlife such as rabbits and reptiles. If you put the tree under a bird feeder it will make a convenient nesting opportunity in the branches. Christmas trees can also be shredded or chipped for mulch and added to landscaping.

However, there is another option — placing it at the bottom of a pond or lake.

Kevin Meneau, MDC Fisheries Management Biologist, says trees provide woody cover that makes excellent habitat for invertebrates. These are an ideal food source for smaller fish, which draws them in like a magnet. This in turn brings in bigger fish and creates a situation that gives a boost to the lake’s entire food chain.

“They also help young fish,” Meneau says in a news release, “because when the adults spawn their young can hide in those trees.”

The underwater brush piles concentrate fish, so the submerged trees can be a honeyhole for anglers. Make sure when you drop the tree you note its location, either by a map or using a GPS. Next year, you or your fellow fishermen can revisit these areas to improve their odds.

Meneau says it’s best to drop the entire tree into the lake or pond without cutting it up or removing any branches. And don’t worry if you see the treetops poking out of the water, they are visible for five-to-six weeks before becoming water logged and sinking completely.

So, eliminate some of the post-holiday stress, consider recycling the tree by placing it at the bottom of a pond or just along the fence row. It is just one more holiday gift that keeps on giving.

Source: Mindy Ward, Missouri Ruralist

ProAg Quick Links

Agent Toolbox Grower Toolbox Careers

ProAg News

Mild Temps Help Midsummer Fruit Crops

After weather extremes brought a rocky start to the season, the early summer’s mild afternoons have been a boon to peaches and other Central Valley fruits....

Feedback From The Field-July 22, 2019

The 2019 growing season has seen just about every type of weather imaginable, and last week conditions were almost as varied depending on where you farm. ...
Get ProAg updates via email
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×