3 ways to get rid of your old Christmas tree

With the holidays behind us, many families are setting their trees out on the curb, waiting for them to be collected. But that's not the only option.

Many local organizations would be happy to have your old tree

The Sir John A. Macdonald trail group uses Christmas trees to block the wind at Remic Rapids park — and they're looking for about 50 to 75 more this year. (Pete Edminson)

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how do I get rid of thee?

With the holidays behind us, many families are setting their trees out on the curb, waiting for them to be collected.

But that isn't the only way to do it, and some organizations would really appreciate it if you got in touch.

Trail trees

Dave Adams, also known as "Groomer Dave," is gathering trees for the Sir John A. Macdonald (SJAM) winter trail.

This year, the trail will have a rest area at Remic Rapids Park, and Adams said they would like to add some greenery.

"We have got some Muskoka chairs. We have got a firepit. We will be renting skis and fat bikes and we are also running the skis for the school program out of that," he told CBC Radio's All In A Day.

"We are going to try and use these trees as a wind block."

Adams said they'd like to have about 50 to 75 more trees, and anyone with one to donate can drop it off at the parking lot near the park. 

Patty McLaughlin has set her old Christmas tree up on her back deck, where it acts as shelter for birds visiting her feeder. (Patty McLaughlin)

For the birds

The Ottawa Wild Bird Care Centre's Patty McLaughlin suggests your back deck could actually be the best place for your old tree.

She said her tree is on her deck now, near some bird feeders, providing birds "a place of protection."

Whether it's rain, freezing rain or snow, McLaughlin said it's good for birds to have a place to escape the storm.

"If you have your Christmas tree out in your yard, even if it falls over, it is going to give the bird shelter," she said.

This porcupine at the Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre enjoys munching on Christmas trees. (Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre / Facebook )

Porcupine food  

In Ottawa, you can leave the tree at the curb on collection day, as long as it's free of decorations and not in a plastic bag. 

But Kingston, Ont., doesn't collect Christmas trees curbside, so residents may be wondering how best to dispose of them.

The Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre in nearby Greater Napanee, Ont., would happily take any trees on offer.

The centre's Tess Miller said many of their injured animals love the trees — particularly porcupines.

"They like to eat trees,"Miller said. "Especially conifer trees, because they are rich in nutrients."