‘The trees are treats for the sheep’: Farmers happy to recycle your Christmas tree

·3 min read

Give it to the goats.

It’s one of the options of what you can do with your Christmas tree this year, but one Mama and Rascal, two goats owned by Chantal Roy in Riverside-Albert, really hope you choose.

Her goats have been given Christmas trees before and think pine needles are a treat, said Roy. “They eat almost everything - needles and bark,” she said.

Roy is encouraging people to ask around to see if a farmer wants their trees for various uses.

If you are closer to Shediac Cape, the Kavanagh Family Farm will gladly take your tree off your hands.

“The trees are treats for the sheep, goats, pig, and rabbits and it acts as a natural de-wormer for the critters,” said Charlene Kavanagh.

People can drop off trees at 2715 route 134 in Shediac Cape and can even have a social distanced tour of the farm for their troubles, said Kavanagh.

What isn’t used by the animals will be chopped up and used for summer fire pits or even a garden fence if they collect enough, she said.

“Farming is one of those things that you become the master of using everything,” she said. “And as a small farm we need to save every penny we can.”

Environmentally conscious New Brunswickers can also give their tree to Vision H2O. Through a project funding by the Environmental Trust Fund of New Brunswick, the organization has been tackling coastal erosion with Christmas trees, said executive director of Vision H2O Julie Cormier.

"Trees are used to help us build up the dunes," said Cormier. Trees are adding each year until an area of the dunes is restored and there are no longer holes, at which point marram grass is planted, she said.

Christmas trees can be dropped off at Grand-Barachois hall or Cap-Pelé arena, she said. Normally the organization gets 75 to 100 trees to restore local beaches, but sometimes that isn't enough to meet what is needed to tackle local coastal erosion.

Of course, if you aren’t prepared to bring your trees outside Metro-Moncton, your city or town may take them from your curb.

But if you live in Moncton and want curb-side pick-up you don’t have much longer to enjoy your tree. Trees should be left curbside next week on your usual garbage day.

If you want a little longer to enjoy your tree, you aren’t out of luck. Trees can be dropped off until Jan. 31, 2021 in Moncton at Mapleton Park, Crossman Community Centre, the Crowley Farm Road ball field, Moncton Coliseum parking lot or the former Dud James Arena parking lot.

In Dieppe and Riverview, households can leave trees out on their regular weekly garbage collection day the week of Jan. 11 2020.

Municipalities are reminding residents to remove all tinsel, lights and ornaments from the tree before placing it at curbside and to ensure trees are accessible and not stuck in ice or snow.

Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal