Decorating Christmas trees is one of the greatest traditions for celebrating the holiday season. Many people have artificial trees that can be easily boxed and stored for use in future years. Other people choose live, potted trees that can be planted when the holiday season is over. However, a large number of holiday enthusiasts appreciate cut trees in stands. Cut trees lend their aroma to the season, infusing the home with the scents of Christmas, but when the holiday is over, and you can’t box or plant your tree. What should you do with it? Here are some simple tips on how to dispose of a Christmas tree.
Don’t Wait Too Long
First, don’t wait for the Christmas tree to dry out. Many people like to wait until after the first of the year to take their tree down, but this can be a problem. Allowing the tree to dry out becomes a fire hazard. About ten percent of household fires each year involve artificial and live Christmas trees. The trees cannot cause a fire, but can be easily ignited by an outside source, such as a spark emitting from lamps, fireplace embers, cigarettes, sockets or electric tree lights. Allowing your tree to dry makes it more flammable, so keep your tree well-watered, and remove it from the home before it dries out. Although Christmas tree fires are rare, fires that do involve Christmas trees are generally after the holiday and can be more likely to lead to injury or death.
Second, remove all ornaments, lights, tinsel, garland, and non-organic decorations from your tree. One clever way to store ornaments for safe keeping and re-use is to place them into plastic cups, cover the cups with plastic wrap, and align them inside a cardboard box. Storing your ornaments in this way prevents breakage and keeps them organized for future use.
Getting the Tree Out of the House
Next, prepare with a bucket or container to capture any water remaining in your tree. You’ll need to dump the water from the tree’s container during removal.
Then, to protect your floors from dripping sap and to reduce the number of pine needles falling from your tree during disassembly, cover the tree with a large, plastic tree bag, which you should be able to find at your local home improvement store. If you do not have a tree bag, you can use an old blanket or sheet to wrap the tree before carrying it outside.
Dispose of the Tree
Finally, many areas provide tree removal, so all you’ll need to do is carry the tree to the curb. However, for recycling, some places may require the tree to be cut into 4-foot pieces, or in small enough chunks to fit in your recycling container or waste bin. Check with your local disposal service for requirements. Most areas provide tree pick-up within two weeks following Christmas.
There are also creative options for repurposing your tree rather than having it picked up by waste management. You can mulch the tree to use in gardens and landscaping, or carve the tree to make coasters, bird houses, or other crafts. Throwing the tree away after Christmas isn’t your only option.
Home Care After Removal
Once your tree has been safely removed from your home, use a broom and dustpan to eliminate the majority of pine needles from floors. Pine needles can clog and damage vacuum cleaners, so you’ll want to minimize the workload for your vacuum by removing as many of the needles as you can before running the vacuum cleaner.
Check carpets and floors for water that may have leaked from the tree. Damp carpets and hardwood floors can be the perfect breeding ground for mold. If you find wet areas in carpets, shampoo them and allow to dry.
Did putting up your tree this year remind you that you’ve outgrown your current house? Call us at Ballen Network – 800-805-8354 – to talk about buying or selling a home as we move into the new year.