Farewell Fraser fir? Here's how to dispose of your Christmas tree

Tree removal tips from Florida Forest Service

Christmas trees.
Christmas trees.

It’s the day after Christmas and your tree is still in the house, the presents are opened, now it’s time to throw things out.

Not a creature is stirring, but the pine needles are blurring.

The ornaments were removed with care in hopes that trash pickup will soon be there.

Whether it's a post-Christmas day purge or you wait until January to toss out the tree there is a right way to dispose of your live (dead or dying) Christmas tree.

According to the Florida Forest Service, dry limbs and needles from discarded Christmas trees can be a fuel source for fires if not properly disposed of. Officials with Forest Service recommend avoiding the fire hazard by disposing of the trees using local government pickup and recycling programs.

In Orange County, trees can be set out at the curb on yard waste collection day, according to county officials. Trees over 6 feet tall should be cut in half.

Pro tip: Remove all ornaments, decorations and stands before placing your tree at the curb.

Artificial trees are not collected with yard waste and can be placed in the garbage on your regular collection day.

Find the Orange County yard waste collection day for your neighborhood here.

Some residents may choose to burn their Christmas trees. The Florida Forest Service recommends the following safety tips to avoid fires or injuries:

  • Check local ordinances for county burn bans and requirements for outdoor burning.
  • Burn only if significant rainfall has occurred in the last three or four days.
  • Never burn on dry or windy days.
  • Select a burn location that is at least 25 feet from natural areas, 25 feet from your home, 150 feet from other occupied buildings and 50 feet from any paved, public roadway.
  • Remove all decorations from the tree before you burn it.
  • Cut the tree into manageable sections, as necessary.
  • Clear the burn area free of other flammable materials, such as leaf litter and pine straw.
  • Keep a shovel and water hose handy in case the fire starts to escape containment.
  • Never leave a fire unattended, and make sure it is out before leaving.
  • Never burn a Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove.

Not ready to say good-bye just yet? Click here to learn how to keep a Christmas tree looking fresh.

About the Author: