Christmas tree recycling underway at Claytor Lake State Park

Trees used to make fish habitats in the lake

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – Christmas is over, so it’s time to give one last gift.

“Anything in that 7-10 ft. range, and of course smaller, is what we’re looking for,” said Claytor Lake State Park assistant park manager Brody havens.

Live Christmas trees dropped off at the Claytor Lake State Park marina through Jan. 23 will be sunk in designated areas on the lake to create habitats for fish.

“They provide cover," Havens said. "When we sink the Christmas trees, the limbs will stay on and the needles will stay on for quite a while. They’ll lose their needles first, that’s about six months out, but the main stem and the larger limbs will stay a year, two years.”

Fishermen like Wes Kearns appreciate the effort because the trees attract fish.

“A lot of people think it’s tough fishing here," said Kearns.

He likes fishing at Claytor Lake as it is, but the trees definitely help make the pastime more enjoyable.

“I just love getting out in the outdoors. I love fishing. Me and my wife fish a lot," Kearns said.

Anyone is welcome to help sink the trees in the lake.

“There’s various different opportunities. Obviously, one will be on the boats sinking the trees themselves, but we also need to move the the boat," Havens said. "So there’s dragging the trees, there’s tying the trees to the cinder blocks.”

If you can’t get to the lake, you have other options.

The city of Danville offers curbside tree collection for residents or you can drop off your tree at the city’s mulch collection site.

In Martinsville, curbside collection will happen Dec. 30 through Jan. 17. Trees will also be collected at the city jail annex.

Blacksburg and Christiansburg offer curbside collection for residents and Montgomery County has 10 collection sites.