What Happens To Christmas Trees when Christmas Is Over?

@MALUSE (30121)
Denmark
January 9, 2016 11:39am CST
Why do people buy artificial Christmas trees? The reasons may be: - Artificial Christmas trees are cheaper than real ones. Besides, you pay for them only once and then can go on using them for several years. - Artificial Christmas trees don't lose needles which you may find in your flat/apartment/house for the rest of the year even after thorough hovering/vacuuming. - Pets, small children or clumsy adults can't set an artificial Christmas tree on fire when they accidentally touch it. All this is reasonable. YET, artificial Christmas trees don't smell! This special fragrance of resin fir trees exude! I don't buy a real tree but always several long twigs from different kinds of fir trees which are made into a bundle and are sold in the local farmers' market. Ah, when I put them into a vase at home! I love the smell. Every year ~29 million real Christmas trees are sold. Many come from plantations in Germany. There are several near our town. People can go there and cut down the tree that catches their fancy. The majority of the imported ones comes from Denmark. Other countries are Poland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, the UK, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Switzerland and Ukraine. (I'm mentioning all these countries to do something for your knowledge of geography). Germans don't celebrate Christmas for three months like some Filipinos do (I read that on this site). Most people put up their trees on the 23rd or 24th December and take them down on 6th January (Epiphany). And then? What does one do with a Christmas tree that has done its duty? In our town people are asked to put the trees on the pavements in front of their houses. Boy scouts come with a lorry and collect them. For this service they're rewarded with some money, as much as the former owner of the tree sees fit. They take the trees to a waste-fed heating and power plant. 500 Christmas trees can provide energy for an average household for one year. What do the sales people do with unsold Christmas trees? They're still fresh, have no tinsel, no glass or other decorations. They're taken to zoos. Elephants love them! They love the sweet taste of raisin and put one tree after the other into their mouths. Watch the video if you don't believe me. (It's from the zoo in Berlin. The text is in German but not important.) Have you learnt something new today?
Heute bekamen die Elefanten viele Tannenbäume. Victor und Drumbo rüsselten lieber.
20 people like this
23 responses
@Marcyaz (36138)
• United States
9 Jan 16
Yes, I learned something new today and boy scouts pick up the trees from the pavement and take them to a heating and power plant. I don't buy a real tree any longer as I just put up a small type of tree since no young children are here.
3 people like this
@ramapo17 (17935)
• Melbourne, Florida
9 Jan 16
When I use to get a real tree, after the tree was done I would put it out by the road and the town would pick them us and chop them up for mulch. People in the town could get them if they wanted them. I always used mulch around all my plants and paid a lot of money as we had a lot of land. Some places sell it by the yard or truck load.
1 person likes this
@Marcyaz (36138)
• United States
10 Jan 16
@ramapo17 When I lived in town the city would ask people to put their trees out by the curb to be picked up but never said what happened to them after that.
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (37815)
9 Jan 16
Here, real trees are collected by the city and taken out to one of the lakes and dumped in a cove as habitat for bass and other fish to spawn and feed in
3 people like this
@noni1959 (2509)
• United States
9 Jan 16
They do that in CA where I'm from. I'm not sure about here in Oregon where I am now.
2 people like this
@MALUSE (30121)
• Denmark
9 Jan 16
I like this idea.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (113144)
• Switzerland
10 Jan 16
I have seen yesterday the baby elephant born on the first day of the year and his mom munching a Christmas tree. My neighbor, three years ago has planted the tree in their garden, just in front of their living room. Now they decorate the outdoor tree, that is visible from their living and dining room.
2 people like this
@MALUSE (30121)
• Denmark
10 Jan 16
Germans sometimes do the same. This idea is good until the tree has grown to a height which leaves the windows of the house in shadow. People in our street cut a fir tree two years ago whose top had reached the roof.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (113144)
• Switzerland
10 Jan 16
@MALUSE It will take many years to this tree to reach the roof of the house. I believe that the idea is to replace the tree every 6 or 8 years.
2 people like this
@Marcyaz (36138)
• United States
10 Jan 16
@LadyDuck A baby elephant and its mother munching on a Christmas tree, do you have a picture of that? That is cool to decorate outside tree.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (113022)
• Boise, Idaho
10 Jan 16
I think the mulch from real trees can be used in the yard or for the many parks we have here. We don't have a real tree. Not real into it anymore.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (50083)
• Pleasant Hill, California
10 Jan 16
Interesting information. I like the idea of using them for fuel. Like you, I love the smell of Christmas trees.
2 people like this
@Namelesss (980)
• United States
9 Jan 16
This year our tree was artificial, we've had both over the years. I decided that this would be our last 'tree' year. I plan to do exactly as you do next year and beyond. I do love the smell of a fir tree though, that is the smell of Christmas for me. Here we are encouraged to take them to the dump where they are picked up and chipped for use around our local parks and such.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Jan 16
I did not know about the zoo animals. But many people use fake trees because they cost less in the long run. I bought one (later gave it to my sister) because it weighed less, and I was the one moving it around. Real trees are very heavy.
1 person likes this
@ramapo17 (17935)
• Melbourne, Florida
10 Jan 16
When I was with Home Depot I use to help unload the trucks that delivered the trees and I loved it. I could not get enough of that aroma. There is nothing like it. The smell use to stay with me as the needles got in my clothes so my car had that great smell too.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jan 16
@ramapo17 I love the smell too, but as women age, lifting heavy natural trees on our own becomes foolish. Fake ones are lighter and come in part.
• United States
11 Jan 16
@ramapo17 I was just like you, but started becoming injured doing what I have always done. After several scoldings from a few different doctors, I finally gave up and do not lift heavy objects anymore. This makes me feel like a wimp, but at least I stopped hurting myself.
@owlwings (37880)
• Cambridge, England
9 Jan 16
The video is hilarious. The elephants clearly like the feel of the scratchy needles on their skin and watching the baby trying to copy his elders is adorable. I make no comment about the last part of the video, though!
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (30121)
• Denmark
9 Jan 16
Oh, dear! I only watched the beginning to find out if non-German watchers can understand it. Hopefully, it won't be axed by the censor.
3 people like this
@owlwings (37880)
• Cambridge, England
9 Jan 16
@MALUSE I don't think so.
2 people like this
@MALUSE (30121)
• Denmark
9 Jan 16
@owlwings What do you think, may we conclude that Christmas trees serve as an aphrodisiac?
2 people like this
@marlina (58336)
• Canada
9 Jan 16
Yes, I did learn something new today, thanks to you. I had no idea that elephants could eat Christmas trees. Amazing.
1 person likes this
@ramapo17 (17935)
• Melbourne, Florida
10 Jan 16
I never knew that either.
@MALUSE (30121)
• Denmark
10 Jan 16
@ramapo17 I'm happy to see that you've learnt something new through my post. You can show off with this knowledge now and impress your friends.
@ramapo17 (17935)
• Melbourne, Florida
12 Jan 16
@MALUSE I definitely will spread the news so I can be smart too. I don't think any of my friends or family know of this. I love learning new things and spreading it around. That's how we get so smart through life.
@BelleStarr (30037)
• Portland, Connecticut
10 Jan 16
No I didn't know about elephants and Christmas trees. I use a little oil burner with balsam scent to give my artificial tree a scent, it works great.
1 person likes this
@Platespinner (17586)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
9 Jan 16
I didn't know elephants ate Christmas trees. They are often fed to goats, and pitched into man-made to provide shelter for fish. We don't do three months but we usually set our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving (which falls on the 4th Thursday in November) and we take it down on January 1st.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jan 16
Real trees are placed in front of our homes and the township picks them up. Have no idea what happens after that
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (20390)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
9 Jan 16
I much prefer a real tree, the aroma is so wonderful. Looks like the trees convey some mysterious elephantine aphrodisiacal effect too!
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (49034)
• United Kingdom
9 Jan 16
I love the fact that the elephants get a treat.
1 person likes this
@sharon6345 (101182)
• United States
9 Jan 16
I don't mind not having that smell in my house. That is the main reason I will not buy a real tree and then the rule being that we need to bring it to the basement another.
1 person likes this
@much2say (33562)
• United States
9 Jan 16
My husband would say the same as he grew up with fresh trees - he loves the scent! We have always had an artificial one (except the first year when we got this house) as we have so little space. Wow, I would never have thought elephants would take to Christmas trees like that - now that would be a great thing to do (never heard of that program "here").
@ramapo17 (17935)
• Melbourne, Florida
10 Jan 16
Me neither. I would think they would gag on the stiff branches.
1 person likes this
@much2say (33562)
• United States
12 Jan 16
@ramapo17 That's true - I would think they would taste bitter too - but maybe they're not!
@nanette64 (12367)
• Fairfield, Texas
10 Jan 16
Wow, how cool is that @MALUSE . I didn't realize elephants ate the trees. Amazing and nothing goes to waste. And using them for an energy source makes perfect sense. I have a little, 3-foot, fake tree with fiber-optic lights.
@ramapo17 (17935)
• Melbourne, Florida
10 Jan 16
My husband and I bought a 4 foot tree this Christmas and took it on a cruise with us. We were gone the whole week before Christmas and got back the day after. We had all kinds of decorations in the room and on the doorway entering the room. The room steward loved it.
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12527)
• Northampton, England
9 Jan 16
I think the UK ones usually get put through a 'chipper' to make wood chips for gardens.
@ramapo17 (17935)
• Melbourne, Florida
10 Jan 16
That's what they did in Pennsylvania when I lived there.
• United States
20 Dec
This was an interesting post on recycling the real Christmas trees for fuel, now I wonder if anywhere here in the USA is that done ?
@simone10 (22271)
• Louisville, Kentucky
15 Jan 16
Yes I did learn something new today. I didn't know that about elephants enjoying the trees so much. What a cute video. The baby elephant didn't seem to know what to do with the trees.