Volume 74, Number 35 | January 05 - 11, 2005

Mulch ado about old Christmas trees

Mayor Bloomberg is encouraging New Yorkers to recycle their holiday trees by participating in the ninth annual MulchFest this weekend in 42 sites in designated parks throughout the five boroughs. At many of the tree drop-off locations, chippers will be on hand, and the public can take home mulch for their own gardens and plants. 

MulchFest will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 8, and Sun., Jan. 9. On Sat., Jan. 8, MulchFest will be at Tompkins Sq. Park and Washington Sq. Park. On Sun., Jan. 9, MulchFest will be at E. 17th St. and Union Sq. W. at the square’s north plaza. All these locations will have chippers. To find the nearest MulchFest location, log on to www.nyc.gov or call 311.

“For the ninth consecutive year, New Yorkers can dispose of their holiday trees in an environmentally-friendly way at the City’s MulchFest program,” said Bloomberg. “The annual event ensures that thousands of trees which otherwise would have been dumped in the trash are recycled into something useful. Last year, we recycled 25,719 trees, which is equivalent to the number of trees growing in Central Park. I urge all New Yorkers to recycle their holiday trees and wreaths at the nearest participating park on Jan. 8 and 9.  It’s a fun way to close out the holiday season, and participants can leave with some wood chips and the satisfaction that they helped make our city greener and more beautiful.”

“MulchFest has become a compost-holiday tradition,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “It provides an opportunity for New Yorkers to turn holiday trees into mulch for gardens and window boxes, or donate that mulch to help beautify neighborhood parks.”

Wood chip mulch moderates soil temperatures, helps retain moisture, prevents compaction and deters weed growth and prevents rock-salt shock, while slowly adding nutrients to the soil. Wood chips may be used to line street tree pits and flowerbeds in parks.

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