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City of Bryan, Texas



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December 12, 2023

Live Christmas trees: How to keep them safe, and how to dispose of them after the holidays

Photo of man and woman putting lights on a live christmas tree.

If you enjoy the nostalgia and tradition of having a live Christmas tree, here is some helpful information to make sure your real tree stays safe and healthy, and how to dispose of it once the holidays are finished.

A live Christmas tree that is drying out and withering, with branch needles falling off of it.

Live Tree Safety

  • Water: Keep your tree well-hydrated to reduce the risk of it drying out and becoming a fire hazard. Before placing the tree in water, cut two inches off of the trunk and make sure there is a constant supply of water in the stand.
  • Lights: Lights need to be UL-listed. Make sure your light strands are in good working condition and identify any frayed wires, damaged sockets, or signs of wear and tear. Be sure to switch them off when you are away or sleeping.
  • No flame: Candles make for a very cozy atmosphere, but they don’t mix well with live trees. Keep real candles away from your real tree, or use flameless LED candles as an alternative.

photo of a christmas tree being put on the curb for disposal by the solid waste collection crews.

Live Tree Disposal

  • Curbside: When you’re ready to dispose of your live tree, all you have to do is place the tree at the curb on your regularly scheduled Brush and Bulky waste collection day. The city’s Solid Waste workers will dispose of it for you at no charge.
  • Just the tree: Remember to remove the metal/plastic tree stand, and all of the decorations from the tree before placing it at the curb.
  • Holiday schedules: Also don’t forget that your Brush and Bulky collection day schedule will be pushed back one day during from Dec. 25 – Jan. 6. (Monday’s routes will be collected on Tuesday, Tuesday’s routes will be collected on Wednesday, etc.)

Find your normal Brush and Bulky day

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