What to do with your Christmas tree after Christmas

What to do with your Christmas tree after Christmas
Susan Howell is the landfill attendant. (Source: WALB)
Susan Howell is the landfill attendant. (Source: WALB)
The trees will go into the chipper. (Source: WALB)
The trees will go into the chipper. (Source: WALB)

LEE CO., GA (WALB) - It's about that time when many of you are boxing your Christmas decorations and putting them in storage until next year, but a fresh Christmas tree can't be stored away, or just thrown on the street.

It's time to get the beautiful trees out of the house and put to good use.

But you can't just take your tree to most landfills in the state, except in Lee County.

The people who run the land-fill there are turning your Fraser firs into something else you can use to beautify your home.

"People mainly just put it in their flower beds to make it look pretty," said attendant Susan Howell.

She said it makes the yard smell good too.

You can drop off the trees at one of four locations in the corners of Lee County:

  • Lee County Landfill
    • 759 Highway 32 East
    • Monday- Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Two Public Safety Complexes
    • 934 US Highway 19 N
    • 1289 Grave Springs Road/Philema Road 
  • Salt Lick Sausage Co. 
    • 1295 Highway 82 near the water tower

"They need to remove the ornaments and the stand for the tree. We have to have just the bare tree," said Howell.

Last year, Lee county recycled more than 100 trees through the chipping machine.

Howell said she usually saves one or two for the fishermen in town.

"The fishermen get it to put it in the fishing ponds," explained Howell. "It's a fish habitat. They just drop the whole tree into the water and the fish migrate to it."

And if your local landfill isn't participating in a tree chipping event, but you've got a woodsy backyard, you can leave the tree for the birds.

"I take a couple of the trees and just throw them out in the woods and the birds will nest in them," said Howell.

The public safety stations and landfill we collect the trees through the end of January.

Salt Lick will collect the trees until January 8th.

You can pick up free mulch at the landfill during that time.


Residents in Thomasville can take their trees to the Recycling Center at the corner of Remington and Stevens Streets for the 'Bring One for the Chipper' event.'

"This year marks our 26th year of Treecycling in Georgia," said Solid Waste Director Nate Tyler. "The Bring One for the Chipper program allows Christmas trees to be recycled into mulch that can then be used in playgrounds, parks and other greenspaces throughout our community."

Trees will be accepted starting Tuesday. They need to be unbound and clean of decorations.

In exchange for the Christmas tree, if you drop it off between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on January 6, can get a free redbud, dogwood, or white oak sapling while supplies last.

For more information, call Keep Thomas County Beautiful at 229-236-1486.


Residents in Valdosta have a few drop-off location options for the 'Bring One for the Chipper' event.

In Valdosta, you can drop off a tree at the Home Depot on Norman Drive, Mathis Auditorium on North Ashley Street and the Walmart on Perimeter Road on January 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. You will receive a free seedling while supplies last.

Those locations will be accepting trees from Tuesday to January 5, but no seedlings will be given out.

Additionally, residents can take trees to the Valdosta YMCA on Gornto road and to the City of Hahira building from Tuesday to January 6.


Albany city residents are encouraged to put their trees on the side of the road like other yard debris and public works will pick it up.

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