Here’s what to do with your Christmas tree now that the holidays are over

When the holidays come to an end, residents of Dare County and its six municipalities are reminded that there are differing polices regarding the disposal of Christmas trees depending on where you live.

And there’s an easy way for the tree to be re-purposed to help rebuild the dunes along the Outer Banks, with drop off locations at area businesses.

Remember that all ornaments, lights, ribbons, tinsel and other decorations must be removed from the tree. Any non-natural items left on trees could later become a hazard to animals and sealife.

Southeastern Virginia

Crystal Matthews of Norfolk is collecting trees at her home this week and will be transporting them down to the Outer Banks on Saturday, January 9.

Chicho’s Pizza on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront is once again conducting a tree collection drive.

Nags Head
The Crazy Tree Lady at The Islander Motel is once again collecting trees, with a goal of 500 this year.

Kill Devil Hills
The Town of Kill Devil Hills will be collecting natural Christmas trees beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 13.

Please remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, and other non-organic items from your tree. Place your tree in the right of way adjacent to your property and ensure that it is away from all other objects.

No artificial trees or other bulk trash items will be collected.

Trees must be placed in the right of way no later than Tuesday, Jan. 12. Please contact the Public Services office at 252-480-4080 for additional information about the town’s annual Christmas tree collection.

Tree collections by Waste Management are scheduled for January 4 and 11, 2021. Please have your decoration and tinsel-free trees on the curb the night before for collection.

Residents and owners that wish to donate are asked to drop their undecorated and tinsel-free trees in the designated parking spots located behind the Town playground. Questions can be directed to Sandy Cross at

Trees must be dropped off by Friday, January 8.

Southern Shores
Your Christmas tree can have a second life or greater purpose by acting as a natural sand fence while helping to build up sand dunes. The wood and branches help with erosion control, and the nutrients are beneficial for the beach grass.

Christmas trees may be dropped off at the SSCA Hillcrest parking lot, where they will be collected for sand fencing/erosion control.

Trees can also be placed in your Limb/Branch piles for collection during your scheduled sector. Wreaths are excluded and will not be collected.

• ALL metal and decorations must be removed or the contractor will reject collection.

• Guidelines for Limb/Branch collection apply.

For sector information, collection calendar, guidelines and rules visit Limb/Branch Removal Program

N.C. Division of Coastal Management rules:
Christmas trees should be placed as far landward as possible and should not impede existing public access to the beach, recreational use of the beach or emergency vehicle access. In addition, trees should not be installed in manner that could impede, trap, or otherwise endanger sea turtles, nests or hatchlings when the nesting season returns in a few months. For example, trees should be installed at an angle no less than 45 degrees to the shoreline, no more than 10 feet seaward of the toe of the dune, and no less than 7 feet between rows.

To ensure compliance with all of the rules that apply to sand fencing, please review the standards outlined in 15A NCAC 07K .0212. If the proposed layout of trees along the beachfront does not meet these criteria, applicants should submit a CAMA Minor Permit application for review. For more information, contact the local CAMA permitting authority or appropriate DCM district office.

About Kari Pugh 1073 Articles
Kari Pugh is digital director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at