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Science & Environment

Some Advice On How To Get Rid Of Your Christmas Tree

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Christmas is over. And by now, if you've got a real tree, it's probably dropping needles and about ready to move out of your living room. One eco-friendly recommendation for tree disposal is to throw it on your compost pile to decompose.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

But the Minnesota Department of Agriculture cautions against that. If your tree was grown outside your state, it could harbor unwanted guests. Elizabeth Dunbar of Minnesota Public Radio explains.

ELIZABETH DUNBAR, BYLINE: Invasive species that are present in other states might actually hitch a ride on those Christmas trees, end up being trucked into Minnesota and then spreading here.

SHAPIRO: So if you don't know where your tree came from, or if you know it came from out of state, your best option really might be trashing your tree, even if that feels a little wrong.

DUNBAR: Take it to the curb. And if you don't have organized collection in your area, you can burn greenery to make sure that those insects or other pests aren't spreading around and getting into other plants and trees.

CHANG: Several states make similar recommendations. So if you don't have a local tree, take this advice from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection - bag it, and your wreath, too, and kick it to the curb.

(SOUNDBITE OF VINCE GUARALDI TRIO'S "O TANNENBAUM") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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