As Christmas trees leave Shuswap living rooms, they can be whisked away by rugby players for a small donation or left outside as a home for birds before decomposing into the soil. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

As Christmas trees leave Shuswap living rooms, they can be whisked away by rugby players for a small donation or left outside as a home for birds before decomposing into the soil. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Options available for Christmas trees leaving Shuswap homes

The Yeti Rugby club is doing its annual tree pickup in exchange for donations

Christmas trees are still standing in many homes around the Shuswap but when the time comes to get rid of them a variety of options are available which can minimize the hassle and even benefit a good cause.

The Salmon Arm Yeti Rugby Club’s annual Christmas tree collection will be proceeding on Jan. 10. The team picks up trees and disposes of them in exchange for donations each year. Coach Greg Seed said the event has happened annually since 2002 and, while it is not a huge moneymaker, he said the team is grateful for the donations.

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Players from the rugby team will be picking up trees left out on the curb and going door to door to collect donations. Anyone who will not be home on the morning the trees will be picked up can attach envelopes with donations to the trees. Cheques can be made out to the Yeti Rugby Club and e-transfers can be sent to with the address of the house included. Those whose trees are missed can contact Seed at 250-515-1934 to arrange a pickup.

Seed said the money raised goes towards covering the costs of league play and rugby tours abroad which have seen Salmon Arm teams travelling to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Trinidad and other locations. A trip to Grand Cayman planned for March 2021 had to be cancelled.

He noted that the fate of the spring rugby league is up in the air due to COVID-19 but a fall 2021 Rugby 7s league is being planned.

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Those who miss out on the rugby team’s Christmas tree pickup or who live outside Salmon Arm have other options for disposing of the tree. Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) landfills and transfer stations will accept trees as yard waste but the regional district has asked to make sure all trees are free of tinsel or other decorations.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has also suggested another option for people who want to bring more bird and animal life to their backyards. A tree left leaning against a fence or laid down in a garden can serve as a winter home for birds and then as a hideout for toads, insects and bees as it decomposes further.

– with files from Charlie Carey

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