Nova Scotia

Ever wonder what happens to Nova Scotia's tree for Boston after Christmas?

Nova Scotia's annual Christmas gift to Boston will stand until at least mid-January. Then it will be run through a wood chipper and composted.

After the holidays, pieces of Nova Scotia's tree for Boston could end up in Massachusetts gardens

The tree was cut down near Trenton, N.S., on Nov. 13, 2019. (Province of Nova Scotia)

Nova Scotia has sent a Christmas tree to Boston every year since 1971 as a way of showing gratitude for help after the Halifax Explosion.

But what happens to the tree after the holidays end?

According to Boston's parks and recreation department, pieces of the tree could wind up in Massachusetts gardens.

The 13.7-metre white spruce tree that came from around Trenton, N.S., will be taken down after mid-January. It will then be run through a wood chipper and composted.

"City residents can visit a central location to pick up free compost and some of them may end up with pieces of the official Christmas tree," Liz Sullivan, a spokesperson for the department, said in an email.

What about the Grand Parade tree?

The tree outside Halifax's city hall has a similar fate.

After being up since Nov. 19, Halifax's tree comes down on Jan. 7, depending on the weather.

From there, the tree is put through a wood chipper and turned into mulch.

"That mulch is reused throughout a number of city programs," said Halifax spokesperson Brynn Budden.

"Staff use the mulch in the municipality's tree-planting program, mulching approximately 1,800 trees per year. The mulch is also used by parks and recreations in some garden beds and shrub beds across the city."

Nova Scotia's 2019 Christmas tree for Boston. (Province of Nova Scotia)

The city also hosts a free mulch giveaway day with bits of Christmas tree in it. Last year's tree was in this year's mulch giveaway in May.

Regular Christmas trees around the municipality are picked up with the green compost bins following the holidays. Those trees are also chopped and turned into mulch.

Budden reminds residents that following the holidays, all plastic, tinsel and ornaments need to be removed from the trees before they're put out with the green bins.

About the Author

Anjuli Patil


Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.


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