Recycle real Christmas trees or wreaths

Ned Burkey

EAST LANSING, MI - Michigan ranks third in the nation (following Oregon and North Carolina) for the number of Christmas trees and Christmas tree farms. Michigan has about 565 Christmas tree farms, growing about 12 varieties on about 37,000 acres, with the most popular being; Fraser fir, Scots (Scotch) pine, White pine, Douglas fir, Blue spruce, Black Hills spruce, Balsam fir, Concolor fir, Korean fir and Canaan fir. 2022 is expected to be the best year in a decade for real Christmas trees.

Before taking down a real Christmas tree after the holidays, consider recycling it. It can be used for a bird feeder, as landscape mulch or sunk to the bottom of a pond for a fish habitat. Regardless of the intended use, remove all tinsel and decorations. For birds, redecorate with strings of popcorn, cranberries, raisins, of apples, oranges, leftover breads and pinecones covered with peanut butter, then dipped in birdseed. Buy ears of field corn for a bird feeder or sprinkle shelled corn under the Christmas tree. Christmas wreaths can be recycled as bird feeders once the artificial decorations have been removed. These could be hung on the south or east side of the house to better protect it and the birds from the wind.

The Great Lakes Crops summit will be held on January 25 and 26 at the Soaring Eagle Resort, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Sponsored by the Michigan corn, soybean and wheat commodity groups, this event features 21 educational sessions, keynote speakers and commercial exhibitors. Call 517-668-2676 to learn more. Early registration ends on January 6 and can be done by going to or 517-668-2676. This event has sold out the past few years.