Now that the holidays are over, people may be wondering what they can do with their Christmas trees that are no longer needed.

The American Christmas Tree Association estimates that 78 percent of U.S. households displayed a tree in their house this holiday season. Most people tend to remove their holiday decorations roughly 12 days after Christmas, packing them in storage until the holiday season returns next December. Those who opted to forgo plastic pines in favor of real trees now face the additional task of disposing of their sapling in an appropriate manner.

Though some might consider bringing their soiled spruce to a dump, alternative Christmas tree disposal methods are available to residents who wish to ensure that their tree is handled in an eco-friendly way. Since real Christmas trees are biodegradable, they can either be recycled or repurposed.

Prosper city staff said there is central drop-off location for the Prosper that is available Jan 2 - Jan, 15. The drop-off is located in the parking area on the south side of First Street west of the central fire station in Prosper, and is open 24 hours. The site is unattended, therefore, if individuals have bigger trees, it’s important they make sure they have enough manpower to carry it. Trees must be cleared of any lights, ornaments, decorations, tinsel, and any other non-organic material

To remove the tree from the premise in a hassle free way, the American Christmas Tree Association recommends placing a plastic bag underneath the tree stand, though the stand should be remove before recycling the tree.

Additional tree disposal methods exist for more proactive citizens. The Christmas tree can be cut into pieces small enough to fit in yard waste containers, brought to a tree recycling or mulch program to be transformed into garden mulch, or used in soil erosion barriers. Christmas tree branches can also be removed and made into chips to be used in backyards and gardens.

Christmas trees can also be be sunk into private ponds to be used as fish feeders or relocated to the backyard for a bird feeder and shelter.

A final idea to consider, possibly for next year’s holiday season, is to invest in a living, rooted tree. Trees that are purchased rooted or containerized can be replanted in the yard subsequent to Christmas.

The American Christmas Tree Association cautions that Christmas trees should never be burned in a wood stove or fireplace.

Prosper Press freelance writer Emma Polini contributed to this report.