From firefighter practice material to fish habitat to garden mulch, options abound for Christmas trees once they’re removed from area homes.
• Training: Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue firefighters are seeking donations of old trees for use in training exercises.
“The trees work really well in teaching fire behavior,” said the fire department’s Special Operations Chief Danny Kuhlmann.
Homeowners are asked to drop off trees at Station 2, 518 Gibbs Road, Evans, or at the county’s training center on County Camp Road in Appling. The trees are used to help firefighters learn to battle blazes caused by Christmas tree fires.
• Fish habitat: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District is accepting donations of live trees through Jan. 9 for use as fish habitat in Clarks Hill Lake.
The recycled trees will be placed in various locations throughout the lake.
“The submerged trees attract fish because they provide cover for small fish as well as a substrate for algae growth, which creates a feeding area for smaller fish,” said Jamie Sykes, Corps of Engineers’ fisheries biologist. “These small fish attract larger species, thus creating an enticing “hot spot” for anglers.”
Trees can be dropped off at Riverside Middle School at 1095 Furys Ferry Road in Evans. All decorations such as tinsel, lights, garland and bulbs must be removed from the trees before dropping them off. Dumping of wireframe wreaths, yard debris, and household trash at the site is prohibited.
• Mulch: Keep Columbia County Beautiful turns trees into mulch during the annual Bring One for the Chipper. This year’s event will be held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Home Depot on North Belair Road in Evans. Trees can be dropped off before Saturday at the site, and also can be taken to the county’s recycling center at 1960 William Few Parkway, Grovetown.
During the event, homeowners can scoop up and haul away mulch while supplies last.