Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Ghosts of Trees Past

I skirted the edges of Chinatown and lower SoHo (LoSoHo?) today, on the way to my post office box, where I picked up mail and a very nice little parcel from Massachusetts. More of that tomorrow.

The sidewalks were littered with fallen trees. Were these households observing the Twelve days of Christmas? Because last night would have been Twelfth Night.

I hate the word Xmas. It is not a word. It's Christmas, regardless of your beliefs (and as you know, I only believe in coffee). If you want the gifts, use the word.

What happens to the trees? They are collected by the sanitation department, and then they go into a big chipper.

You can also take your tree this Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th to be chipped in your hood. Here is a list of chipping and drop-off sites, borough by borough, and the ones with asterisks will also give you free mulch. Take bags. There was no free compost this year, so I say grab the mulch while you can.

David Murbach, who chose each year's 80 foot Rockefeller tree, died just before Christmas. Not only the tree man, he founded Metro Hort, and oversaw the restoration of the landmark Rockefeller roof gardens on Fifth Avenue. More about Mr Murbach's horticulturally rich career here.

Woodchucks needed. And someone didn't get the tinsel memo on the one above, on Greene Street.

"The Department of Sanitation requests that ornaments, lights, tinsel, and stands be removed from Christmas trees before they are set out for collection."

This must be the only time of year when the garbage trucks smell good.


  1. Looks the same around here too...always a sad thing to me....

    so loved...all decorated..the center of one's home for Christmas...and then...kicked to the curb....

  2. The city should collect them all and have a giant Central Park bonfire in a week or two when they've dried out really well. And free marshmallows with 6 foot long sticks to roast them without getting too close to strangers, the New York way...

  3. I love Christmas ~ but I'm always ready to take the tree down afterwards and get on with the new year.

    Happy New Year (better late than never)

  4. It is a bit sad to see the trees go, but when you recycle them into the mulch they become part of the renewing cycle. They will provide the warmth and moisture for the next generation of garden. Not quite as perfect as "seeds", but a helper. I love the cycle of it.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with Farmhouse Kitchen. There's something..."we needed you, we used you, we're done, you're garbage..." about seeing all those abandonned trees on the sidewalks. Mulching them is good. I always keep mine and burn it in the jolly, crackly, wonderful smelling, first fire of Spring. That way, it goes like it came in: bringing joy to the heart and dispensing a heavenly fragrant smell...

  6. This is why I have a fake tree... I have aesthetic objections, but I swallow them as I could not bear to have a living thing dying slowly in my lounge for the holidays and then have to dispose of it. Although a fleet of sanitation trucks smelling piney-fresh is rather appealing...!


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