By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Mulch your tree to stay green
Keep Liberty Beautiful
Keep Liberty Beautiful logo
Sara Swida is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.

The Christmas tree is such an iconic part of modern Christmas celebrations. Do you ever consider how it became such an integral part of how we celebrate our holidays?

Although it’s unlikely that the Christmas tree as we know it today was first used in the seventh century, some people believe the idea for the tree was invented by St. Boniface at that time.

There are different legends regarding why St. Boniface promoted the Christmas tree. Some claim he used the triangle shape of the fir tree to symbolize the Holy Trinity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to pagans who already used trees as part of their rituals.

References to the use of trees in Christmas ceremonies are also mentioned in the mid-1500s in pre-Germany. Records indicate that a pine tree was decorated and used in a Christmas celebration in 1521. In 1539, in the Cathedral of Strasbourg, church records state that a Christmas tree was used for the Christmas celebration. And in 1570, chronicles from a Bremen guild record that a fir tree was decorated with fruits and nuts, which children ate on Christmas day.

In the 1700s the Christmas tree custom had spread throughout Germany, and people began decorating the trees with candles that were lit on Christmas Eve. As the Christmas tree custom spread through Germany, the Roman Catholic Church eventually recognized it in the early 1800s. The Christmas tree was introduced in America by German immigrants in the mid-1700s.

I hope you celebrate Christmas and its meaning and origins in the next week, but please remember Christmas is not over until the Christmas tree is mulched. Remember, whether you take down your live tree the day after Christmas — and after you have removed the decorations from your tree — to drop your tree off for recycling. Help make sure that your live tree does not become wasted yard waste.

Between Dec. 26 and Jan. 13, we will have a variety of locations around the county for turning in the trees for recycling. Citizens in Hinesville can also have their undecorated trees picked up at the curb. All trees dropped off must be undecorated and free of any binding.

And just in case you are confused, we CANNOT mulch artificial trees and wreaths. Georgia Power Co. graciously provides the equipment and manpower to mulch all the trees for our county, and those decorations and plastic trees can really be a problem when the trees are going through the chipper.

Decorations do not make good mulch, so please remember to "undecorated" those live trees for mulching.

You can deposit your tree in the designated locations at any Liberty County Solid Waste Convenience Center or Recycling Drop off Center during normal operation hours between Dec. 26 and Jan. 12. These locations are:

• 25 South Dairy Road (SR 196W, Gum Branch)

• 156 Pate Rogers Road (Fleming)

• 836 Limerick Road (near Lake George)

• 64 Left Field Road (Hwy. 84, Miller Park)

• 619 J V Road (west of Hinesville)

• 50 Isle of Wight Road (Midway area)

• 344 Ft Morris Road (East End near Sunbury)

• 129 Sandy Run (off Hwy. 84)

• 941 E G Miles Parkway (SR 196W at Training Center)

• Walthourville Public Works site

• 4000 Coastal Hwy. (Hwy. 17 in Riceboro)

• Fort Stewart

• Liberty County Health Department, 1113 East Oglethorpe Hwy.

At our mulch site at the Liberty County Health Department at the corner of Hwy 84 and Patriot’s Trail in Flemington/Hinesville, we will have our annual chipping day from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Jan. 13. The Mulch Day is a fun day for everyone, so please drop by and bring your tree. All citizens that drop by on Jan. 13 can pick up seedlings, as well as vegetable and flower seeds, while our supplies last.

So join me in making the most of your Christmas holiday season by greening up your live Christmas tree after the holidays. This is just one more way to give a precious gift to the earth.

For more information on Christmas tree recycling and more, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or or check out information on

Sign up for our e-newsletters