Natural Christmas tree recycling underway at cooperative extension

In keeping with their mission statement to use knowledge to strengthen the environmental well-being of the community, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program in Pahrump is wanting to recycle natural Christmas trees.

For several years the program has accepted the fresh trees, where they are chipped, chopped and turned into valuable mulch to be used on the grounds of the site, located at 1651 E. Calvada Blvd.

The deadline is Jan. 15.

“We use it to cover any old mulch areas, because it breaks down and holds moisture in the soil,” Master Gardener Cherry McCormick said. “It also feeds the roots of the trees, creating less evaporation and everything that we need out here in the desert to conserve water,” she said.

All ornaments, lights and tinsel must be removed prior to dropping off the tree.

McCormick said only live trees will be accepted for the recycling effort.

“Artificial or flocked trees cannot be recycled,” she said. “Flocked trees are those colorful ones adorned with faux snow.”

Additionally, McCormick said the tree recycling program has been very successful since it started several years ago.

In years past, the extension regularly receives more than 100 trees following the holiday.

Dropping off the tree is as easy as pulling up and unloading.

“It’s easy access, and people can just drive by 24/7,” she said. “We have a sign that shows the area,” McCormick said.

In past years, the cooperative extension has partnered with Pahrump’s Home Depot where unsold Christmas trees literally end up on the chopping block.

“It was a benefit for us because those trees would have unnecessarily ended up in a landfill,” she said. “The added benefit is the cooperative extension gets the mulch and I’m always telling people about the many benefits of using mulch, whether it be for your trees, your ornamental shrubs, or your seasonal garden.”

For additional information call the extension office at 775-727-5532.

Community reporter Brenda M. Klinger contributed to this report.