This is something I never seem to think of until after the Christmas holiday has passed us by. Just what am I going to do with this tree now that we're ready to take it down? Well, I just learned that my typical tradition of taking out and leaning it up against the deck until spring when I can chuck it in the woods actually isn't safe...at all.

When you take your real Christmas tree down and out of it's little basin of water, it begins to dry up rapidly and becomes the biggest piece of kindling in and around your home. By placing the tree outside near your house, you're basically inviting disaster in the event of a fire.

According to Lowe's (yes, the home improvement store), they say that it's important to remove your real Christmas tree from your home before it starts to really dry out. Signs of increased dryness will include pine needles falling at an excessive rate as well as the tips of the needles on the tree changing to a brown color. Another cool tip they mention is covering your tree with a big contractor bag prior to removal to help minimize the pine needles falling all over your floor on the way out.

But where to take it? It turns out that in a lot of places you can actually recycle your Christmas tree. Bigger cities have curbside tree pickup, but most of us here in Maine will probably have to go to our local transfer stations. If your town does offer a tree recycling program, your tree will most likely be chipped and shredded and used for mulch or soil erosion programs.

Chuck it in the woods! If you own land and can get the tree a safe distance away from your home to not be a fire hazard, you can always chuck it in the woods. Returning it back to its natural habitat if you will.

My personal favorite? Give it to the goat. No, not Tom Brady, I mean the actual animal. We all know someone here in Maine who has goats, right? Goats absolutely love snacking on your old Christmas trees so contact someone you know who has them and see if they would be interested in taking it off your hands.

No matter how you choose to dispose of your real tree, just make sure you do it prior to it becoming a household fire hazard. We, and your local fire department, would really appreciate it. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all!

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