When the holiday season has passed, what should Kenosha residents do with a real Christmas tree?
The city is offering free tree drop-off sites again this year to collect and recycle the trees in a program to help Kenosha’s parks.
If you plan on bringing a real Christmas tree in your house, make sure it has the necessary care it needs to survive the holiday season.
Holiday trees may be dropped off inside green snow-fenced enclosures after Christmas at a number of locations until Jan 31.
Collected trees will be chipped and used as mulch in City parks. To prevent damage to chipping equipment, you should remove all tree bags, ornaments, tree stands, nails, and other metal objects and place those items in trash receptacles provided at each tree drop-off site.
Disposal of other holiday greenery (wreaths, garland, etc) must be placed with your normal residential trash collection. To find the nearest location to your house, use the holiday tree disposal map. It can be found at kenosha.org/departments/public-works
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Disposal locations across the city, and their locations, will include:
- Wolfenbuttel Park: 60th Street/Third Avenue;
- The park at the Southwest Library: 38th Avenue/79th Street;
- Petretti Park: 19th Street/16th Avenue;
- Roosevelt Park: 68th Street/34th Avenue;
- Endee Park: Pershing Blvd./47th Street;
- Sunnyside Park: 81st Street/27th Avenue;
- Columbus Park: 54th Street/21st Avenue;
- Lincoln Park (Martin Luther King Drive): 70th Street/19th Avenue;
- Washington Park (Skateboard Area): 22nd Avenue south of Washington Road;
- Horizon’s Park: 6598 112th Ave.;
- Sunrise Park: 29th Place/50th Avenue (east of the intersection);
- Clausen Park: 65th Street/87th Avenue (west side of the park);
- Forest Park (not the school): 47th Avenue/61st Street;
- Holiday Tree Bin by Nash Elementary School: 68th Street/96th Avenue;
- Strawberry Creek: 147th Avenue/72nd Street (east of the golf course clubhouse).
Christmas tree recycling
Because they are sap-heavy trees, evergreens tend to burn hot and fast, making them ideal for bonfires. If you have a safe place for an outdoor fire, like a fire pit, dry out your Christmas tree clippings to use for kindling to get your fire roaring.
Trees should be dried out for a few months before burning.
Ashes from burned Christmas trees contain potassium and lime, which when spread in the garden help plants thrive.
Whether it’s with woodchips or needles, mulch is a great way to keep your yard trees healthy and moist during the cold season.
Cut up your Christmas tree and put the pieces into a wood chipper. Or keep all those needles that landed on the floor. Place them directly on the soil or on top of the snow. As it melts, the needles will be right where they belong.
Pine needles contain nutrients that enhance the PH of soil, so they are best for crops like blueberries, rhubarb and asparagus.
Decorations and crafts
With a few extra materials, Christmas tree clippings are perfect for making wreaths. You’ll need clippers, a wreath ring, wire and wire cutters, and 7-10 pounds of clippings. Wreath rings can be purchased at Christmas specialty stores.
Or take advantage of the clippings’ unique shape by imprinting them into air-drying clay for ornaments.
And the tree trunks can be sliced into discs for use in next year’s holiday crafts.
Cutting off the branches and laying them in a garden bed will protect plants from winter freezes and spring thaws. Lay tree boughs over garden plants and frozen soil to keep the soil consistently cold, reducing the risk of early sprouting that can occur during winter thaws.
Or use the tree as a windbreak or shade to prevent drying of tender evergreens. Place your discarded tree on the windward side of rhododendron, boxwood and needled or broadleaf evergreens for winter burn protection, or on the south side of these plants to shade them from the drying winter sun.
AP Photo/Tim Roske
Old Christmas trees can be a temporary habitat for birds seeking shelter. Stand the tree in a corner of the yard and load its branches with suet cakes, bird seed or fruit.
Hang strands of cranberries and slices of oranges on colorful yarn to complete the edible display.
Take advantage of that pine scent all year round. Pine needles can be stored in paper bags or sachets to use as fresheners around the house or in the car.
A few seconds in the microwave re-releases the needles’ scent. Add them to potpourri or pillow stuffing.
Save your tree for trellising beans and peas in the garden. The vines will grow up and over, masking the bare tree branches. Growing vertically saves space and makes harvesting easier.
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