Surrey firefighters handle Christmas trees at Newton Athletic Park during a charity chipping event in 2015. (File photo)

Surrey firefighters handle Christmas trees at Newton Athletic Park during a charity chipping event in 2015. (File photo)

Your Christmas tree: Chip it, curb it or chuck it in backyard as gift to wildlife

Several tree-chipping events in Surrey planned on weekend of Jan. 4-5

Now that Christmas is over for another year, what to do with the tree?

In Surrey, natural trees can be placed on the curb for collection by city recycling crews.

“Before putting your tree in your organics bin, the tree must be cut up into pieces no bigger than three feet long,” says a post on the city’s website (surrey.ca).

“Remove all tinsel, lights, decorations, tree stands and plastic bags from Christmas trees prior to disposal.”

Natural trees can also be brought to one of the many tree-chipping events planned around Surrey, including those hosted by Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society at Newton Athletic Park and also Guildford Town Centre on Saturday, Jan. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Elsewhere, Surrey Central Lions Club host a tree-chip event at Central City Shopping Centre (10153 King George Blvd.) on Sunday, Jan. 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with donations to Surrey Food Bank. At Holy Cross High School, tree chipping is done by donation on Saturday, Jan. 4 and Sunday, Jan. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 16079 88th Ave., with proceeds to local charities and youth via the Knights of Columbus.

Meantime, the Nature Conservancy of Canada suggests leaving your old Christmas tree in your backyard – as a gift to wildlife.

Dan Kraus, the organization’s senior conservation biologist, says leaving the tree in your backyard over the winter can provide “many benefits” for backyard wildlife, as the tree can provide “important habitat for bird populations during the winter months, especially on cold nights and during storms.”

He suggests propping it up near another tree, against a fence or lay it in your garden. Get the family involved by redecorating it with pine cones filled with peanut butter, strings of peanuts and suet for birds to enjoy while they find shelter in the tree.

“Evergreens offer a safe place for birds to rest while they visit your feeder,” Kraus said in a news release. “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.”

By spring, he noted, the tree will have lost most of its needles, resembling a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree. Simply cut the tree branches, lay them where spring flowers are starting to emerge in your garden and place the trunk on soil, but not on top of the flowers.

Kraus says the tree branches and trunk can provide habitat, shelter wildflowers, hold moisture and help build the soil, mimicking what happens with dead trees and branches in a forest. Toads will seek shelter under the log, and insects, including pollinators such as carpenter bees, will burrow into the wood.

“By fall, the branches and trunk will begin to decompose and turn into soil,” Kraus explained. “Many of our Christmas trees, particularly spruce and balsam fir, have very low rot resistance and break down quickly when exposed to the elements. The more contact the cut branches and trunk have with the ground, the quicker it will decompose. Drilling holes in the tree trunk will speed up that process.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP are looking for these two men after a bank in the 12800-block of 96th Avenue was robbed on March 12. (Images: Surrey RCMP)
Police release images of two men suspected of robbing Surrey bank

Robbery happened on March 12 at bank in 12800-block of 96th Avenue

An example of a Surrey Police cruiser, showcased at Mayor Doug McCallum’s State of the City Address at Civic Hotel in May of 2019. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Recently hired inspector no longer ‘taking a position’ with Surrey Police Service

Jeff Harris was first announced as an inspector on April 1

A vaccine-filled needle awaits injection, during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic held Jan. 15, 2021 at Amica White Rock. Community Living B.C.-funded workers learned April 8 that they, too, can now be vaccinated. (Tracy Holmes file photo)
Support workers for those with disabilities given vaccine priority

News shared with Community Living B.C.-funded staff on April 8

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack owned by the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack, pictured here in October 2020, had its third COVID-19 outbreak declared on April 9, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
3rd COVID outbreak at care home run by Chilliwack church known for opposing vaccinations

30-bed Sunset Manor owned and operated by Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Police are investigating after a man was shot Thursday, April 8 while sitting in a car in Vancouver. (Black Press files)
Man shot in Vancouver while sitting in a parked car: police

The victim is currently in critical condition. Police say no arrests have been made.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is seeking public tips regarding a break-in that left multiple people injured in Vernon Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Cariboo teacher charged in child exploitation case

Charge laid against teacher at Peter Skene Ogden

Most Read