Drop-Off Your Old Christmas Tree
You’re probably thinking to yourself – It’s January, why are we still talking about Christmas trees? It’s because Christmas trees continue to work for us even after the holidays and they deserve credit for that!
January may not be the best month for in-stream aquatic restoration work. However, it’s prime time to collect materials for restoration projects in the summer.
Why do we collect Christmas trees?
For over a decade, we’ve collected Christmas trees and installed them along the banks of the river at UCCA. Before it became a conservation area, the land was used for cattle pasture and cattle had open access to the river.
Over time, cattle damaged the riverbanks, causing erosion. This caused the river to widen, which then caused water temperatures to increase. The Upper Credit River is a coldwater fishery. That means increases in water temperature combined with habitat degradation impacts sensitive species like brook trout.
Christmas trees are an excellent material for in-stream restoration. They are biodegradable and have needles and branches that trap sediment flowing downstream. Over time, trees collect sediment which narrows the river channel by forming new banks. The river also becomes deeper helping to make the river cooler. Newly formed banks can also be planted with trees and shrubs that shade the river further, helping to lower water temperature.
Thank you to the community and everyone who expressed interest or donated a Christmas tree. We cannot do this work without your support.
Stay tuned for updates on our final year of restoration at UCCA!