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O Christmas Tree, how lovely are thy branches (to the goats)

A camel nibbles and goats eat recycled Christmas trees. Photo credit: Lewis Adventure Farm & ZooWith sales of live Christmas trees and wreaths in Michigan up this year, so is the need for recycling them after the holidays.

More Michigan communities are offering Christmas tree and wreath recycling, which typically turn the trees into mulch or partner with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to help make rabbit/small game habitat out of the trees. Others — such as the Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo in New Era — feed the trees to sheep and other animals. Goats find the untreated trees nutritious and delicious.

Check with your municipality to see if they offer the service near you. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy's Michigan Recycling Directory is also updated periodically and includes Christmas tree recycling locations. To find locations, enter "Christmas trees" in the search bar.

Michigan ranks third in the nation for the number of Christmas trees harvested, supplying about 2 million fresh trees — with an annual net value of $30 to 40 million — to the national market each year. There are more than 560 Christmas tree farms on a combined 37,000 acres in Michigan, ranging from large wholesale farms, to choose and cut farms, to small farms with a few acres selling pre-cut trees.

To honor Michigan's Christmas tree industry, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed December as Michigan Christmas Tree Month.

Photo credit: Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo

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