Christmas trees already stacking up at city parks for ‘Mulchfest’

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Trees were already stacking up at Prospect Park West. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

Only a day after Christmas, the holiday trees are starting to gather at New York City parks to be part of  Mulchfest, the annual holiday tradition of recycling Christmas trees into mulch and potpourri with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers.

Many of the trees dropped at city parks on Thursday were leftovers from tree sales or those who decide to take their tress down early after Christmas.

More than 28,000 trees were tossed into wood-chippers last year at parks throughout the city and are converted into new uses inc8uding mulch for gardens and scented satchels to hang in the home as potpourri. Residents will be invited to take a big of mulch for the backyard or a winter bed for a street tree.

Chipping will begin on Saturday, January 4 and January 11, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both days.

Bring your tree to a chipping site on Chipping Saturdays to take home a tree-mento! We’ll chip your tree and give you your very own bag of mulch to use in your backyard or to make a winter bed for a street. To participate, just look for a chipping site on the map or list below. https://www.nycgovparks.org/highlights/festivals/mulchfest

Some of the bigger locations include Prospect Park in Brooklyn, Central Park in Manhattan, Forest Park in Queens, Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx and Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island. However, most every park will accept Christmas trees.

Last year, L.J. Philip, a lead gardener at Lakeside in the Horticulture department of the Prospect Park Alliance, worked with volunteers and park workers to grind up trees of all sizes.

“People and NYC Sanitation bring trees and we chip them — we use them within the park, to spread mulch around our trees so we are recycling them,” Philip said. “We use them around our trees because they are great for moisture, gives them nitrogen, suppresses weeds, and also keeps them a little warm in winter.”

Park officials reminded residents to remove all lights, ornaments, and netting before bringing the tree to a Mulchfest site. Bags will be provided if you wish to take some free mulch home

Volunteers can register with the Mulchfest team at https://www.nycgovparks.org/events/keyword%20mulchfest%202020/

Residents walk past piles of trees already gathering at Prospect Park. (Photo by Todd Maisel)