The City of Washington will pick up old Christmas trees. If you used a real tree this year, you can clear the tree of decorations and place it near the city street where trash and recycling is normally picked-up. The city Maintenance and Construction Department asks that the trees not be placed on a corner near a fire hydrant.
Another option is to drop off your tree in downtown Washington. The city has marked a special drop-off area in Central Park. The deadline for the tree pick-up is January 11.
If you are interested in recycling your tree in other ways, the Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association suggests using the trunk and branches for mulch in gardens, parks, or animal stalls. Other ideas include using the trees to prevent soil and sand erosion, or putting them in ponds for fish habitat.
The Tree Growers caution against burning a tree in a fireplace or stove, because that could cause build-up of chemical deposits that can lead to chimney fires.