AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- Now that the holidays are over and decorations are coming down, you may be wondering what to do with those live Christmas trees.

Many folks leave them on the side of the road or take them to a landfill, but there is a more eco friendly way to dispose of your tree.

People can recycle their Christmas trees. Once your live tree is completely undecorated, including removing the little ornament hooks, you can drop it off at one of 4 locations.

It’s a program the Army Corp of Engineers has had in place for decades.

They pick up the recycled trees from those drop off locations and put them in deeper waters in Lake Thurmond, turning them into habitats for fish.

“A Christmas tree becomes habitat because you’ve got little fish that go in there to hide. Then the big fish go in there to eat the little fish and the big fish may decide they want to hide from even bigger fish. So it becomes kind of a community,” explained David Quebedeaux, a Ranger with the Army Corp of Engineers.

Quebedeaux said the Army Corp prefers folks drop off their tree, but anglers can drop them directly into the lake where they fish. They just ask that the trees not be dropped in shallow waters.

“Public anglers are welcomed to pick up recycled trees for their use to create fisheries habitat at a location of their choosing. Christmas Trees when anchored with concrete blocks at depths of 15 20 feet out of main navigable channels create shelter and food for bait fish which in return attracts crappie, bass, and sunfish species. These holiday creations in return benefit the fish as well as the angler.”

The army Corp wants people to be sure to completely undecorate their live trees before dropping them at a drop location or in the lake.

“If you have a tree, a live tree, not a fake tree, a live tree, it doesn’t have any flocking on it, no decorations, no lights. If you have that tree, bring it to one of the locations and we will make sure it gets into the lake as fish habitat,” said Quebedeaux.

The Army Corp of Engineers is accepting trees until January 15th.

Remember, Riverside Middle School is no longer a tree drop off location.

You can drop off your tree at one of these locations:


  • Amity Day Use Area (GA) (Boat Ramp Area)
  • Keg Creek Boat Ramp (GA) (Boat Ramp Area)


  • Dorn Boat Ramp (SC) (Boat Ramp Area)
  • Parksville Day Use Area (SC) (Boat Ramp Area)

Photojournalist: Will Baker.