In an effort to reduce the number of trees going to the landfill or being burned, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area will be working with the Town of Lovell to sponsor a Christmas tree recycling program. Residents are urged to bring used and unwanted Christmas trees to the Lovell Visitor Center parking lot through Jan 15. An area will be roped off where trees can be deposited. All ornaments and lights should be removed.
All trees will be chipped and chips will be available for the community to collect from Jan. 19 to Feb. 15.
Chips from the recycled trees can be used in compost and landscaping projects. There is a myth that the acidity in the trees can cause ground sterilization. After a few months the acid starts to break down and the chips become usable without any adverse effects.
There are several ways wood chips can be used in landscaping projects. Chips can be used for pathways and in weed control, can help prevent soil erosion, and can be used in mulching to help retain moisture in the soil. Wood chips are also a great addition to composting piles. Aged wood chips can add a needed source of carbon and will allow for oxygen exchange in the pile. Once broken down, compost with the aid of wood chips, will help prevent soil compaction in gardens, flowerbeds and other landscaped environments.
Any remaining wood chips will be used in Bighorn Canyon NRA landscaping projects at the visitor center and common corrals area. For questions about composting, call Gary Emmett at Lovell Town Hall, 307-548-6551.