Monday, January 16, 2012

Discarded Trees

I love a real pine Christmas tree for the holidays. You just can't beat the smell of fresh pine.  However, I've always felt bad about having a real tree though.  Even though for the last couple of years, I've had a real Christmas tree, I've never felt happy about it.  I've always felt guilty about a tree that is cut down just to be in my house for the holidays.  On Friday, I was standing at the bus stop in the morning waiting for my bus into Manhattan and I saw a garbage truck come by and picked up the discarded pine trees on the side of the road.  I couldn't help but feel super sad about it.  It's kinda sad that the tree was cut to live in someone's house for a few weeks, and then left on the side of the road for a garbage truck to pick up. 
I watched them crush the dead tree in the trash compactor part of the truck.  The only thing that makes me feel slightly better is that the city turns most of the trees into mulch.  Every year, the city holds a mulchfest, where you can drop off your Christmas trees to designated areas to have them mulched.  The mulch is then used throughout the city parks, or you can also go there with a bag and collect free mulch for your garden. Also during the weeks from January 3 - 14th, the trees that are left on the curbside are also mulched.  This tree is probably on it's way to get mulched somewhere.  I'm glad that the trees get re-purposed for mulch rather than going to a landfill.  You go NYC!
Next year, I'm considering getting a live potted pine tree for Christmas, and then I can plant it afterwards.  Perhaps, maybe I will.


  1. I figure that there's always too many trees cut down each year, so even if I don't get one it'll end up dumped.

    I like that they died for our Christmas, a bit like the Baby Jesus did to give us Easter Eggs. It's all tied together, the circle of life if you like.

  2. Great idea for next year! We did that when I was a kid in Columbia County, about 125 miles upstate. The catch is, you have to make sure you have the hole dug before the ground freezes. You may also want to keep that soil in a tub or something in a garage or basement so it won't be frozen when you go to plant the tree. We kept the tree in the house with the root ball in a galvanized washtub with some water in it. All the trees lived very nicely. Good luck with it.

  3. I am totally with you on this. I love the smell of a live tree in the house, and never having had one growing up somehow makes it seem really special to have one now, as an adult. But I hate the thought of them being grown only for this purpose and then tossed out, even though they do get mulched here too at Greenwood Cemetery, where anyone can go get free mulch anytime, by the way!

    Sometimes I think all those stand selling them will end up with leftover trees that get mulched anyway, so how much will it matter if I buy one...but it still contributes to an industry that I'm not really in favor of! I love your live, potted tree idea. We wouldn't have anywhere to plant it afterward, but it's a great idea nonetheless...maybe we could keep it potted outside?

  4. I hope you get that real tree to plant next year. That would be great.
    Our city also makes the real Christmas trees into mulch with I love for my garden.
    Most Christmas trees are grown with the intention of being cut and then another one grown in its place. Christmas tree farms can be a great place for wildlife and all these little trees help clean the air. There are benefits to a real tree too. d

  5. They do that around here too. At least mulching them is recycling.


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