Augusta, GA (WJBF)- Now that Christmas is over, families with live trees are putting them out with the garbage. But, there is a better and more eco friendly way to get those live Christmas trees out of your home.

But the Army Corp of Engineers is asking people to drop their undecorated live trees off at one of several locations at Thurmond Lake.

The Corp will take them out to the lake and drop them in, making habitats for the fish. They say to make sure all decorations, lights and ornament hooks are off the tree before dropping it off.

“Recycling is good for the environment. This is an opportunity for your Christmas tree to go on and have another life. Instead of going to the landfill and taking up space, it becomes a habitat. And those fish will love it. And the fishermen? They get a present from it too,” said David Quebedeaux, a Ranger with the Army Corp of Engineers.

If you are an avid fisherman you can take your tree to your favorite fishing spot, something the Corp says may attract larger fish.

“One of the things that happens when you put Christmas trees in the lake is all the little fish show up and the big fish will be there to try and eat. And it makes for an interesting fishing situation especially if you’re the fisherman that put it out and you know where it is. Then it becomes your Christmas present,” joked Quebedeaux.

Before you drop your tree off– make sure all lights, decorations and ornament hooks are off the tree– they can cause problems for wildlife.

The drop-off locations are in Clarks Hill, S.C. at Below Dam Day Use Park or at one of the following boat ramps:


  • Amity Day Use Area
  • Chamberlain Ferry Ramp
  • Keg Creek Boat Ramp

South Carolina:

  • Dorn Boat Ramp
  • Parksville Day Use Area

The Corps will be collecting trees until January 16th.