Christmas Trees and Dune Restoration

— Written By Dee Smith
en Español / em Português

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Have you ever seen a Christmas tree on the beach? Carteret County is one of the many counties along the North Carolina coast that collect trees to restore the dunes on our beaches.

Christmas Tree collection at Fort Macon State Park

Christmas Tree collection at Fort Macon State Park.

Cut Christmas trees not only help in the stabilization of the dunes,  better than a sand fence, but also has other additional benefits to the beach ecosystem. This is especially important after dune altering hurricanes like we have had the last two years. The decaying trees nourish the established plants on the dune and help in the growth of new plants. The trees also offer cover for wildlife, specifically for birds during the winter months, in return birds often drop seeds which will establish new plant life into the dune ecosystem

Another benefit to donating your cut trees for dune restoration is that it is a way of reusing the tree instead of sending it to the landfill. By using the trees, we are not adding additional nonnative materials like plastic sand fences to the environment.

Trees can be dropped off at several points along the Crystal Coast to be used in dune restoration. Make sure trees are completely free of all ornaments, lights and other decoration.

Fort Macon State Park

Location: Fort Parking Lot

Time: Through January

Pine Knoll Shores

Location: Memorial Park Beach Access east end of parking lot

Time: Through January

Emerald Isle

Location: Shrimp Stand

Time: Until January 17