Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Inspired tree recycling...

Have you recycled your Christmas tree yet? Chances are you have. Maybe you took it to your local tree recycling depot where they chip the trees and use it as mulch. If you have a pond perhaps you sunk it into your pond as a refuge and feeding area for fish. Or, like me, you placed it in your garden to enhance your wildlife habitat. But, do you ever wonder what happens to all those trees that don't get sold at tree lots, nurseries or the big box stores? This week my kids and I went to Zoo Atlanta where we found out about one Atlanta purveyor who had the forethought to donate his remaining trees to the Zoo. What genius! The animals LOVE them!

The Black Rhino eagerly munched away at the tree which had been thrown in its yard. It even picked up the entire tree with its horns and proudly carried it around.

The African Elephant chomped happily away at the tree limbs too.

And who knew that Red Kangaroos would devour them?

Of course one would expect the goats and sheep in the petting zoo to like just about anything and so it was no surprise that they were crazy over these trees. They just gorged on them en masse!

I talked with one of the zoo keepers who explained that trees from people's homes couldn't be used since they stand in water for weeks and they are usually dried out by the time they get taken down. Animals really prefer fresh trees.

So, my plan is to get the word out. Many if not most states have a ban on trees in landfills and have recycling options for Christmas trees...such as soil erosion barriers, fish feeders or mulch for paths and hiking trails. So why not consider encouraging your local Christmas tree lot entrepreneur, tree farmer or even the big box stores to donate their unsold trees to the local zoo. It helps out the zoo with feed costs, puts the trees to good use and they become good stewards of the community. It is a win-win for all. 


  1. This is so cool. I would have loved to see this.

  2. I stand amazed. Who knew an elephant would eat a Chrsitmas tree. Great post.

  3. Very cool, indeed. Never know what we're going to learn at the zoo...or on a garden blog!

  4. I wouldn't have expected any of those animals to eat Christmas trees! Does that mean deer will browse on the growing trees?

  5. @ Elephant's Eye - Yes, deer will eat growing trees. In my area they are really a pest for most people because they will come in your garden and strip it clean. They will eat buds, needles, leaves and twigs off trees. But some of their favorite foods that they eat in my garden are hostas, ferns and the fruits & vegetables.

  6. Fantastic post! I would never have thought about donating Christmas trees to the local zoo, but those animals look very happy with their Christmas treats. I think some of them are actually smiling!

  7. Ha! So cool - I never knew that the trees would be enjoyed by such a diverse group of animals. Thanks for posting - very interesting!

  8. What a great idea! I never knew so many animals would enjoy them either. Thanks for sharing that info. Our city recycles them and turns them into mulch.

  9. Wow - amazing what I can learn by visiting blogs ! Who woulda thunk.

    We didn't have one this year, but I usually drag ours way out behind the house where the needles eventually become mulch, and I cut the remainder for firewood when it's dry - nothing goes to waste, or to the landfill.

    Great photos !

  10. That is so cool! Thank you for sharing! Also thank you for sharing about your MG experience on my blog.

    *I'm a new follower!

  11. most interesting...brilliant idea!

  12. What a great post! And I love the photos. Our tree gets turned into mulch by the city (we're in Paris), but I had never even thought about the options for unbought trees.


"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment...I love hearing from you!