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Before you toss your live-cut Christmas tree, consider donating it to become a natural habitat for wildlife

The Division of Wildlife will repurpose donated live-cut Christmas trees as habitats for aquatic wildlife
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Posted at 2:56 PM, Dec 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-30 14:57:06-05

Now that Christmas is over, you may be deciding how to get rid of that once beautifully decorated live-cut tree. In years past, you've probably taken it to the lawn or the dump, but did you know you can donate it to the Division of Wildlife?

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, donated live-cut Christmas trees can be repurposed as habitats for terrestrial and aquatic wildlife for Ohio's birds, fish and small mammals. The trees are bundled together and weighted down so they sink to the bottom of the lake, attracting fish and providing cover.

Check out this interactive map to see the lakes where these donated trees will end up.

In addition to donating your tree, the Division of Wildlife suggests creating a wildlife-friendly brush pile with your recycled tree as the centerpiece:

Place the tree in a selected location and stack limbs around it in a square arrangement, layering more brush until a desired height is reached. Cover the top with additional brush to create a unique and valuable shelter for small animals. Songbirds, including cardinals, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, and wrens travel in and out of brush piles for food, nesting, and to escape predators. Small mammals, such as rabbits and chipmunks, also use brush piles for shelter and raising young. Brush piles are valuable shelter for overwintering insects like bees, moths, and butterflies, as well.
Division of Wildlife

Here in Northeast Ohio, the Mahoning County Green Team collects trees at designated drop-off sites until Jan. 31, 2023. Call 330-740-2060 for more information on where those designated drop-off sites.

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