How to recycle or donate your old Christmas tree in Ottawa

As the Christmas season wraps up, thoughts turn to what to do with the aging Christmas tree in your home.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at some options to recycle your Christmas tree, donate it or leave it in the backyard for birds.

CITY OF OTTAWA

The city of Ottawa will pick up your Christmas tree on the regular collection day for the green bin.

You are asked to remove all decorations.

Christmas trees in plastic bags or frozen in a snowbank will not be collected, according to the city.

RIDEAU CANAL

The National Capital Commission will gladly accept your Christmas tree to help decorate the Rideau Canal.

You can drop off your Christmas tree along the Rideau Canal for the NCC to reuse them for the canal rest areas.

Trees can be dropped off on Colonel By Drive, just west of the Bronson Avenue Bridge.

VANDERLAAND THE BARNYARD ZOO

The Vanderlaand the Barnyard Zoo will accept your Christmas tree.

“It’s a family tradition to go and get your tree. Please make it a tradition to bring your tree out to a farm for the animals to enjoy. Please make sure trees are decoration free,” said the zoo in a post on Facebook.

The Christmas trees are something different for the animals to eat.

You can drop off a tree at Vanderlaand the Barnyard Zoo at 11827 Oak Rally Road/County Road #5 in Winchester Springs.

LEAVE THE TREE OUTSIDE

The Nature Conservancy of Canada suggests leaving the Christmas tree in your backyard.

“Your tree can provide important habitat for bird populations during the winter months, especially on cold nights and during storms,” said the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Prop it up against another tree, against the fence or lay it in the garden and decorate it with pine cones filled with peanut butter or strings of peanuts for birds to enjoy.

“Evergreens offer a safe place for birds to rest while they visit your feeder,” says Samantha Knight, national conservation science manager for the NCC. “Another benefit is that if you leave the tree in your garden over the summer, it will continue to provide habitat for wildlife and improve your soil as it decomposes.”

When your tree has lost most of its needles by spring, you can cut the tree branches and lay them where spring flowers are starting to emerge in your garden and place the truck on soil.

Knight says the tree branches and trunk can provide habitat, shelter wildflowers, hold moisture and help build the soil.

“By fall, the branches and trunk will begin to decompose and turn into soil,” says Knight.

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