CORVALLIS - After Christmas, there are many useful things you can do with your used tree besides send it to the local landfill for burial. Ross Penhallegon, horticulture agent with the Oregon State University Extension Service offers a few suggestions.

First of all, do not burn your tree.

"Disposal of the tree by burning can be dangerous, particularly if you decide to burn it indoors in a fireplace or wood stove," warned Penhallegon. "For maximum safety, don't burn the tree at all. There are other ways to get maximum use out of a retired Christmas tree."

Among those ways:

• Convert the tree into wood chips if you have access to a chipper or mechanical tree grinder. Then use the chips as mulch around flowers and shrubs in the home landscape.

• Strip the boughs from the trunk and use them as a mulch around low-growing landscape plants. Cut up the trunk and use it for firewood, or a "Yule log" next year after the wood dries out.

Locally, on Jan. 1, the Boy Scout Troop 898 will accept Christmas trees 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the parking lot near A Bit of Europe antique shop.

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