Christmas tree today, fish habitat tomorrow

Holiday symbols can be recycled or reused
Dec. 27, 2012 @ 05:28 PM

SANFORD —  Natural Christmas trees bring the holidays indoors for many local residents, and after the festivities, the trees can be returned to nature in an unique way. 

San-Lee Park Ranger Steve Godfrey said Thursday he's accepting bare, non-artificial Christmas trees to serve as fish reefs in the park's lakes. 

"We'll take the trees to make fishing beds," Godfrey said. "They sink to the bottom and attract the fish because they have a place to hide and get out of the open."

One of the lakes was recently dredged, leaving no areas for the fish to form a habitat, Godfrey said. 

The trees help increase the amount of fish in the lakes and gives fishermen more to catch, he said. 

"We'll cover it pretty extensively off the shore line," Godfrey said. "We'll keep them off the fishing peer so fishers won't get tangled and keep them in the middle of the pond."

This is the third year the park has sought Christmas trees, and residents can drop off donations at the park, Godfrey said. 

"Even though it's gotten a little colder, the fishing is still good," he said. 

If Sanford city residents can't make it to the park, they can leave their bare Christmas trees on the side of the streets to be picked up on their regular pick-up day.

Lee County residents can drop off their bare trees at one of six convenience centers to be recycled. 

"We will collect the trees for the next few weeks, and they should not be decorated," said Lee County Solid Waste Superintendent Joseph Cherry. "We grind them into mulch so they are recycled."

The centers are typically open every day of the week, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday through Friday, he said. Residents can destroy the trees on their own property, but Cherry recommends letting the county recycle them.

"The biggest thing is if they bring the tress to us, they have to be completely bare," he said. 

The Lee County Convenience Centers are located at:

  • Carbonton Road - 330 Country Estates Road
  • Colon Road - 2501 Colon Road
  • Landfill Road - 331 Landfill Road
  • Rocky Fork Church Road - 5150 Rocky Fork Church Road
  • Wilson Road - 211 E. Wilson Road
  • Woodland Trails - 216 Woodland Trails Drive

The centers are only open to rural county residents. Residents of Sanford or Broadway are not authorized to use the centers. 

More information, including weekend hours, is available at here