In this day and age, out-of-sight usually means out-of-mind – especially for things we don’t want. But story is more exciting for your old Christmas tree!
Conservation Halton puts a high value on old Christmas trees for restoration efforts. Why is this? And how does it work?
First, Conservation Halton works with waste management authorities to divert Christmas trees that would have either been burned or sent to a landfill.
Staff from Conservation Halton use these old Christmas trees to line the banks of rivers or creeks that have widened. Narrowing a creek increases the flow of water and decreases the surface area. This helps to keep water cool during summer months which is important for local wildlife such as brook trout. The faster flowing water is also preferred by fish.
The Christmas trees are bundled with twine and anchored to the creek bed and the banks of the creek. Creeks and rivers push sediments downstream, which end up gathering in the Christmas trees – forming a new bank. The small branches and twigs of Christmas trees are perfect for gathering these sediments.
Eventually plants will grow in the widened banks and their roots will limit erosion when the Christmas trees decompose over time.
This work has shown successful results in places like Bronte Creek in Oakville. It is great to see that old Christmas trees – once considered a waste, are now being put to good use in our local community.
Photo Courtesy of rfduck