Credit: Wake County

The aroma of evergreen is fading now as Christmas trees statewide slowly wither. A live fir tree is a wonderful addition to the holiday season, but what should you do with your tree now that the new year has started? Well, you could always leave it on the curb for Raleigh city workers to pick up, but if you’re looking for another sustainable option, why not drop your tree off with Wake County?

Wake County is once again holding its annual Christmas Tree Recycling program, dubbed “Happy Trails,” through which trees are turned into mulch for park trails across the county. Last year, the county recycled 5,732 trees, creating more than 102 tons of mulch for park trails. This year, the mulch will once again be used to revitalize local parks, including ones in your neighborhood. 

Christmas trees can be dropped off at one of eight locations through January 22. All decorations and lights must be removed before recycling.

These recycling centers are open for tree drop-offs from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. every day of the week: 

• 10505 Old Stage Road, Raleigh

• 6120 Old Smithfield Road, Apex

• 3600 Yates Mill Pond Road, Raleigh

• 5051 Wendell Blvd./U.S. 64 Business, Wendell

Trees will also be accepted at the following Wake County parks from 8 a.m. through sunset: 

• Blue Jay Point County Park, 3200 Pleasant Union Church Road, Raleigh

• Harris Lake County Park, 2112 County Park Drive, New Hill

• Lake Crabtree County Park, 1400 Aviation Parkway, Morrisville

• Green Hills County Park, 9300 Deponie Drive, Raleigh

If you’d rather have your tree picked up by Raleigh city employees, all you have to do is leave it curbside. These trees will be taken to the city’s yard waste center and also turned into mulch for landscaping. Trees will be picked up through February 6. 

Residents should never put their trees in a garbage, recycling, or yard waste container, simply leave them on the ground for collection. Be sure to remove all decorations and lights. And no artificial trees, of course.

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