Nelsonville – What to do with that live Christmas tree after the New Year? Turn them into fish habitats.
After the holidays, live-cut Christmas trees can be repurposed as habitat for all sorts of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Before you toss your tree to the curb, remember that it can find life after Christmas for Ohio’s birds, fish, small mammals, and more.
Recycled live-cut Christmas trees are used as fish habitat in both public and private waters. Christmas trees are donated to the Division of Wildlife by community recycling and drop-off programs. The trees are bundled together and weighted down so they sink to the bottom, attracting fish and providing cover.
Sunken trees provide structure for many baitfish, which in turn attract sport fish. Decomposing trees also feed zooplankton, which provide food for aquatic invertebrates and attract larger fish. Private pond owners may also want to consider repurposing trees to add habitat to their ponds. Many species are attracted to this dense cover, including crappie, bluegill, and largemouth bass.
Each winter, Christmas trees are placed at select wildlife areas and public lakes around Ohio, which vary year to year. This year Wayne National forest is partnering with Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District. Once the trees are collected, they will be bundled together and dropped into Lake Vesuvius with help from the Ohio Division of Wildlife.