Chip in!

So Christmas is over for 2010 and New Year’s Eve is beckoning. Before all the parties kick in, make a resolution to chip in. If you had a fresh tree this year, please consider recycling your Christmas tree and turning it into a resource.

Bonus! Trees collected in many cities are recycled into mulch, which is usually made available free residents.

Adding mulch to your planting beds is one of the very best things you can do for your plants. However, freshly made mulch will remove nitrogen from your soil as it decomposes, which is detrimental to your plants’ health. Advice from The Organic Gardener blog

  • Keep damp decaying mulch away from direct contact with plants. It could cause rot.
  • Some organic matter breaks down to cause an acidic reaction in the soil; e.g. pine needles, some wood chip mulches. Don’t use around lime loving plants.
  • Many organic mulches have relatively high carbon content. This means that soil micro-organisms will take nitrogen from the soil to balance their ration. This causes temporary soil nitrogen depletion:
  1. The solution is to leave organic mulch on the surface where it is intended to be.
  2. Alternatively add nitrogen to the mulch. Comfrey leaves, comfrey tea, worm compost tea, garden compost tea, diluted urine, will all help to redress the balance. Also fish meal, fish emulsion, seaweed extract, plus the 3 fertilizer teas, might be sprayed over any plants likely to be effected.

Austin area resources… If you live in the City of Austin, just set your tree on the curb and it will eventually become Dillo Dirt! Easy peasy.

If you live in an apartment or condo or if you don’t have City of Austin garbage service, drop off  your tree at Zilker Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following dates:
•    Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011
•    Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011
•    Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011
•    Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011

Mulch is available on a first-come, first-served basis to Austin starting in mid-January. Round Rock and Georgetown readers – scroll on down to find out where you can get your free mulch!

Travis County is also accepting trees from December 26, 2010 until January 9, 2011 at these locations:
•    Del Valle Softball Complex (Behind the Southwes Rural Center)
•    RM 620 Low Water Crossing (beneath the RM 620 bridge)
•    Travis County Satellite Yard #1, Johnny Morris Rd. ½ mile s. of Hwy 290E
•    Manchaca Fire Hall, 1310 FM 1626

Round Rock residents can recycle their Christmas trees from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Tuesday at the Round Rock Brush Recycling Center at 310 Deepwood Drive in Round Rock. Need more info? 218-5540.

  • The city will give away small trees while supplies last to residents who bring in their Christmas trees for recycling on Jan. 8.
  • The Christmas trees will be shredded into mulch which is free to Round Rock residents.

Georgetown will also collect trees curbside or you can bring them in to the Collection station – free mulch available year round. Check out the deets here!

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