What are you going to do with your Christmas tree? How about dumping it in a pond (or lake)

Biologists from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources construct a fish attractor from Christmas trees

Biologists from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources construct a fish attractor from Christmas trees

There are some American traditions which, frankly, would be better kept on other side of the pond.

But one which looks rather good is the tradition of dumping (sorry, carefully disposing of) used Christmas tree in lakes and ponds.

Some official advice is here on christmas tree disposal.

Why might dumping dead trees in the water be good?

– it disposes of the trees in a very natural way – trees have been falling into water for millions of years, so aquatic plants and animals have evolved to exploit this phenomenon. In the US dumping unwanted trees in lakes and ponds is a recognised way of improving fisheries but obviously it also creates habitats for all sorts of plants and animals.

– it traps and stores carbon rather well – once under the water wood rots much, much more slowly than in air (witness bog oaks that get dug up from time to time).

– the rotting leaves and wood should release tannins and other chemicals which help to suppress the growth of algae – and since the majority of our lakes and ponds are polluted by nutrients which encourage excessive growths of algae, this could well be beneficial.

Now in a little country like ours where we need a few rules no doubt there will be some hurdles to overcome – a little research would be a good thing here I think – but it seems that this is one American import that really would be a good thing.

PS Don’t forget to ask permission before you even think about doing this!  And I’d be interested to hear about possible drawback too!

PPS In case you’re detecting a streak of anti-Americanism, please don’t: I like loads of things about America, from the inventive use of language to Singing in the Rain and the Simpsons. I expect you can guess the nuttier stuff I’m not so keen on: guns and wars and religion would probably sum it up. And they take just as much notice of ponds as we do too.


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