Mulchfest 2023 — a time to repurpose our holiday trees

With the unseasonably warm days after New Year’s, the scent of a growing mound of balsam and Frasier fir trees, and former X-mas trees, fills the air in Washington Square Park, just east of the Arch.

“Drop your tree here” announces a nearby sign. It’s Mulchfest 2023 where all that greenery that brought so much cheer to New York City homes this Christmas, and those decorated in lobbies, local shops, and commercial spaces find a new purpose.

Mulchfest 2023 runs from December 26 to January 8 with 73 drop-off locations — 34 chopping locations — across the five boroughs, including parks and Greenthumb Gardens where New Yorkers can toss their holiday trees, which are then shredded and recycled.

A cadre of city dignitaries gathered Thursday morning under the Arch of Washington Square to encourage New Yorkers to go to their local parks to recycle their holiday trees.

Hardworking, ready for chopping board members Marty and Butcher.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Teich commented, “Today I’m going to branch out and talk about a bunch of a different kind - the best smelling bunch of the year.

From now until the 8th, New Yorkers can bring their trees to a covering garden site like this one. But anyone who doesn’t want to show off their pine trees to a garden can instead put a spruce on the sidewalk for sanitation.” Here’s a light-hearted approach to the important effort to recycle Christmas trees.

From January 6 until next Saturday, January 14, the commissioner noted, “sewage trucks will be tree cycling,” with specific trucks along city roads collecting trees for recycling and composting — away from the regular trash. pickups. “Don’t worry,” said the Commish, “it’s okay to ‘shield’ the tree on the sidewalk.”

200,000 trees were cut down last year, with numbers expected to rise this year. Obviously, these will be the best scent collectors in town! Scouts are sent out to make efficient transportation routes and the crowd is asked to be patient.

The public is also asked to remove poles, garlands, lights and decorations before placing trees for collection and not to wrap them in plastic bags.

Washington Square. Park sign encouraging neighbors to leave their trees.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

After collection, the Christmas trees will be shredded, mixed with leaves, and recycled into compost for city, foundation, and community gardens.

Residents can also bring their trees to the Mulchfest site. NYC Parks Mulchfest 2023 will run through January 8th. New Yorkers will be able to take down trees at locations across the five boroughs.

The weekend of January 7th and 8th is cut short when New Yorkers can actively mulch their trees and bring home a bag of milk.

felled trees are recycled; Mulch nourishes city trees and plants by deterring weeds, retaining moisture, preventing compaction, adding nutrients to the soil, and keeping roots warm. Mulch also finds its way onto garden paths and even dog tracks.

For more than 20 years, Parks and DSNY (Sanitation) has collected and mulched trees to help plant beds and community gardens throughout the city.

CM Marte adds a tree to the slicer.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)