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WaxyWingie t1_j27db5q wrote

...Or you could chop the darned thing with a machete and stick it under a layer of compost in your new raised bed for a mild hugelkultur effect, like regular gardeners have been doing for decades.


MadManD3vi0us t1_j2aa9x1 wrote

>hugelkultur effect

I am unfamiliar with this word


WaxyWingie t1_j2avjdn wrote

Google it. It's a very cool little concept, basically building a mound of slowly decaying organic matter and covering it with dirt, then planting stuff in it. I have had one for 3 years and got very good tomatoes/peppers/squash off of it without watering.


therealdannyking t1_j2ak68q wrote

That seems like an excellent idea, but there might be a few drawbacks. How many in the UK have a garden large enough to compost a pine tree? A commercial hügelkultur operation would take a substantial amount of work to create and maintain, especially considering the number of trees that would need to be buried every year.


WaxyWingie t1_j2asans wrote

US here, but fair point! Can also chop for mulch/scatter under bushes, use thicker chunks in a casual fire.


PlaidChester t1_j277i3q wrote

Biofules are good and all, but it's funny that they are suggesting to reduce the co2 emissions of a decomposing tree by combining it with sugar cain that would have to be shipped to the uk.


therealdannyking t1_j2aivl6 wrote

You may have misread the article.

The process doesn't need sugar cane, only pine needles. The article mentions that while cane by itself is more efficient, pine needles do an adequate job with more refined techniques. The researchers mention the pine needles can be mixed in with the cane. for an added boost. Since the UK already imports sugar cane, it wouldn't be a new addition to their carbon footprint. The pine needles can be mixed in when they are abundant (January).


PlaidChester t1_j2apv70 wrote

Fair enough, I was referencing the abstract of the paper cited by the article where only the sugarcane bagasse and pine needles were referenced as the feed stock. I did not read the full paper where I guess they discussed other options.

Also I did not realize the uk imported decent amounts of unprocessed sugar cane, to process to get the bagasse. I am surprised really, seems much more expensive than just importing cane sugar.


tllnbks t1_j27eb7n wrote

Would the logistics and fuel cost of of transferring a single tree to a pickup spot to be "recycled" be less than the net gain in fuel from the recycling?


pittaxx t1_j2b12q6 wrote

Probably, but half of our recycling schemes area a net loss when it comes to CO2, and people still do it, because they get to feel good about themselves.

No-one wants to hear that controlled burning of paper/plastic may be better than shipping them across half the world to be treated with chemicals and then shipping it back...


InvertebrateInterest t1_j27lqvx wrote

The city I live in collects and mulches them (except the ones with flocking, those have to be thrown out). You can go pick up mulch for your garden for free afterwards. Seems like a waste to just throw trees in the landfill.


MrmmphMrmmph t1_j27ritc wrote

They bring them to the dunes on our local barrier beach to catch sand and rebuild the dunes.


DrabDonut t1_j2a2yzr wrote

I read about a lake sinking them with concrete blocks to create something like an artificial reef for the fish.


sgramstrup t1_j27fj0n wrote

..or stop buying trees for Christmas ? I'm certain the Co2 levels would benefit..


Artanthos t1_j29dnu7 wrote

It’s pulling more CO2 from the air than it’s adding,

New trees are replanted, pulling CO2 from the air. Meanwhile a lot of the old trees get mulched or buried in landfills, which is sequestered carbon.


sgramstrup t1_j2c600d wrote

The phenomenon of Christmas trees, or Christmas in general are a Co2 and resource waster. The waste are huge on every level. Landfills burps Co2/methane like a geyser. Eco fuels are not very 'eco', and sequestering carbon could be done in other more scientific minded ways.


Artanthos t1_j2e15a8 wrote

Step 1: grow trees, which pulls CO2 from the atmosphere

Step 2: cut trees down and sell them

Step 3: compost trees or burn trees, which releases some, but not all, of the captured carbon back into the atmosphere.

Step 4: goto step 1


This results in a net carbon sink.


SecretPressure9813 t1_j29ggqx wrote

How about we just stop killing and transporting trees just to dress them up for a month.


super5886 t1_j27gxry wrote

Aren't old Christmas trees carbon syncs (sequestration)? Aren't they carbon negative?

Edit: to be clear, fir trees are really robust and cheap, they almost never fertilize them.


U_Sam t1_j290460 wrote

Once a tree dies it releases any carbon it captured. Doesn’t really matter where it ends up. Mulching and composting are probably the best options.


jimmycurry01 t1_j27uy2w wrote

The town I grew up in had a 12th night bon fire. Everyone took their trees to the town square and we set them ablaze.


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tlkdrby2me t1_j27e5wp wrote

Didn't the U.S. try this with Corn and Ethanol to find out that the CO2 produced by agriculture was misunderstood and under represented?

Edit: I didn't read it first sorry. It appears they are only using waste and not farming.


imapassenger1 t1_j28fqrc wrote

We have green waste collection fortnightly here so I just chop it up and it all gets turned into mulch and compost.


Fjorlorn t1_j28wrnu wrote

Biowaste isn't really considered a 'renewable' energy source. We can do better.


lulzmachine t1_j2933om wrote

I'm very surprised, aren't they burned for energy recycling? Seems like a waste to landfill them (even if it's better for co2 dumping)


Adventurous-Depth-52 t1_j295cjb wrote

This is a net loss process. You expend fuel to take that tree to be recycled that will never develop the replacement renewable fuel.


asdaaaaaaaa t1_j29bgj4 wrote

Ehhh. From what I understand, it's just not feasible. You're going to spend more CO2 doing this than you'll recover from the trees unless you handle everything in-house. Remember, cuttings/needles are pretty dense/heavy, especially since they won't be dried. You'll also somehow have to gather the trees, I don't know about places in the UK but here it's not exactly super cheap (for customers or the companies), especially when you consider all the gas needed to pick up, transport, then the labor for unloading/processing.

I remember talking to someone who's done research on this specific thing and from what they found, it just wasn't economically/environmentally feasible. Especially since the holidays are the major time you'd be able to get them. Maybe new advances/discoveries will change that, who knows.


Artanthos t1_j29d4ko wrote

Old Christmas trees in my area are given to farmers for goat feed or mulched by the town and resold to residents for $5/ton.


Puzzleheaded_Town_20 t1_j29u22b wrote

Yes, goats love Christmas trees, within a week or so all that’s left is the trunk.


MrCGrey t1_j29lcep wrote

Renewable fuel... like... wood?


Acceptable_Wall4085 t1_j29liiz wrote

Goat farmers appreciate the discarded trees too. The goats love pine needles.


dillrepair t1_j2a5wj0 wrote

I mean… mine gets fed piece by piece into the wood furnace in the shop so…. Pretty straightforward


egaeus22 t1_j2a7lat wrote

Scientists discover wood fuel


Stillwater215 t1_j2ani40 wrote

Dumb question, but wouldn’t the best use of old Christmas trees be to just use them directly as fuel. They’re just wood. Can they just be thrown into the furnace of a power plant?


killspammers t1_j2atjv5 wrote

Or, mulched and spread on local hiking trails. This is done in Nashville TN.


vangoghcuckurself t1_j2bwt2f wrote

Cute, but turn the whole thing into methane instead. It’s much easier and thus, more efficient


Scytle t1_j2difus wrote

many (maybe even most) commercial Christmas trees are absolutely covered in chemicals to keep them looking top notch for the holiday. Just something to consider when you are thinking about what to do with it after its two week stint as an ornament holder is done.

Personally I would like to see this tradition change in some way that leaves all these trees growing in nature providing habitat. Maybe folks can adopt a wild tree and take care of it for the year or something...I don't know I have never invented a holiday before.