The Second Life of a Live Christmas Tree: Best Ways to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree in Upstate, SC

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Is it time to take down and toss out your Christmas Tree? That beautiful live Christmas tree your family picked out a month ago has fulfilled it’s Christmas destiny and is probably now dropping needles. So, what next? We’ve researched where you can take those once majestic trees in Greenville and Spartanburg to live-out a second purpose, instead of hauling them to the curb. 

How to Dispose of Your Live Christmas Tree

Prop the Tree in Your Backyard

One option, suggested by The Nature Conservancy is propping the tree up in your backyard and using it as an animal habitat for birds and other small creatures. You could even get the kids involved and have them create animal enrichment items similar to what zoo animals are given. Pinecones coated with peanut butter rolled in birdseed are a fun craft that will have the birds flocking to your retired Christmas tree. 

If leaving the tree in your backyard isn’t an option, that’s ok. There are several other options in the Upstate for putting that tree to good use after December 25th. 

The South Carolina Department Of Natural Resources Collects Trees

Every year the SCDNR collects roughly 400 trees every holiday season to use in their artificial freshwater reef program. The trees are weighted and then dropped into lakes around the state, to create safe havens for fish to use as a safe refuge from predators. These artificial habitats create wonderful spots for the state’s licensed fisherman to reel in a nice catch.

  • You can drop your tree of at the Clemson SCDNR office -311 Natural Resources Drive, Clemson 

Please be sure to remove all ornaments and lights from the tree, including any tinsel or garland. The SCDNR only accepts trees. Live pine branch garland, and wreaths are not taken. 

Dontate Your Tree to Army Corp Of Engineers 

You can also donate your tree to the Army Corps of Engineers to be used as fish nurseries in Lake Hartwell.

  • Twin Lakes boat ramp (through Jan. 26th) 
  • Friendship boat ramp (through Jan. 26th) 
  • Lebanon Elementary, Pendleton (through Jan. 17) 

Donated trees can also be picked up by fishermen any time for personal use. Trees should be anchored in 8-12 feet of water, and not placed in the main lake channel or around private docks. 

Spartanburg County Recycling Takes Trees

All Spartanburg County Recycling Centers will accept live Christmas trees until the last day in January. They then grind the tree into mulch that is available to the public for free at the Wellford landfill. 

You can drop your tree off at one of these Spartanburg locations:

  • 255 Quartermile Road, Roebuck       
  • 270 Fourth Street, Boiling Springs
  • 109 Cowpens-Clifton Road, Spartanburg
  • 355 Tucapau Road, Duncan
  • 50 Dexter Road, Spartanburg
  • 1650 Edwards Road, Inman
  • 1835 Sandy Ford Road, Chesnee
  • 379 Brown Road, Spartanburg
  • 1355 Hwy. 357, Lyman
  • 645 Runion Road, Campobello
  • 150 Wofford Road, Woodruff
  • 390 Sulphur Springs Road, Chesnee
  • 5584 Hwy. 56, Pauline
  • 1493 Kilgore Bridge Road, Woodruff
  • 3080 Hwy.92, Enoree
  • 591 Little Mountain Road, Wellford
  • 185 Gowens Road, Spartanburg 
  • Wellford Landfill – 595 Little Mountain Rd., Wellford

Make Mulch! Greenville County Recycling – Grinding The Greens 

The Greenville County Solid Waste Division is offering a convenient way to recycle real Christmas trees after the holidays. The annual “Grinding of the Greens” event allows residents to drop their trees off through January 15th. The trees are then ground into mulch that is available to the public for free at the Twin Chimneys landfill. 

You can drop your tree off at one of these Greenville locations: 

  • 1311 Anderson Ridge Rd., Greer
  • 3769 Camp Rd., Greer
  • 517 Hipps Rd., Simpsonville
  • 200 Owens Rd., Piedmont
  • 3705 Geer Highway, Marietta
  • 409 Blackberry Valley Rd. Greenville
  • Fountain Inn City Garage
  • Springfield Park Mauldin 
  • Simpsonville City Park
  • Travelers Rest City Hall 
  • *City Of Greenville Residents can place trees at the curb for recycling pick-up 
  • Twin Chimneys Landfill – 11075 Augusta Rd., Honea Path             

Even though it only lives out a short existence in your home, a report was recently published revealing that live Christmas trees have a smaller negative impact on the environment than artificial trees. The benefit trees offer to the environment while they are growing and then after they fulfil their holiday purpose, when disposed of properly; outweigh the fact that they are cut down. We hope you find a fun function for your Christmas Tree’s second life! 

Let us know in the comments what you do with your live Christmas tree after the holidays.

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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