When, how and where to toss your tree

VERNON - When to get your Christmas tree is a debatable subject; when to get rid of it is another.

There are no real rules for either. Some say you should take your tree down before the New Year. Others believe you should wait until January fifth, the twelfth day of Christmas. Whatever your tradition is, there are numerous ways to reuse and recycle your tree.

1. Use it in your garden: If you have a wood chipper, you can make mulch. If not, you can still use the pine needles, which help retain moisture, as a ground cover for plants.

2. Chop it up: Cut the trunk into discs and use as coasters (you’ll want to sand and varnish them) or decorative pieces in your garden. Use larger chunks as risers for flower pots.

3. Lean on me: Strip the longer branches and use as stakes to support plants.

4. Make a snowman: Cut three discs out of the trunk, stack them with the cut side facing out, and use two more pieces for the top hat. Confused yet? Go here for the visuals.

5. Just want it gone? Residents of Vernon, Coldstream and BX can drop off Christmas trees at regional landfills free of charge until January 2014. They can also use the drop off site at 47th Avenue and 20th Street next to St. John’s Ambulance until January 19.

Reminder: Christmas trees will not be picked up with residential refuse. Please don’t leave plastics bags or other debris at the drop-off site.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

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