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Turn Your Christmas Tree into Mulch at City’s Annual Mulchfest Starting Sunday

Residents can bring their Christmas trees to city parks and gardens to be turned into mulch during the annual Mulchfest. Pictured at the 2018 event in Long Island City is Rob Basch, president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy (Photo provided by the HPPC)

Dec. 23, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

The city’s annual Mulchfest is back for another year, giving residents a chance to dispose of their Christmas trees in an eco-friendly way.

Residents can bring their Christmas trees to a select number of city parks to be turned into mulch during the annual Mulchfest. This year’s event will take place from Dec. 26 through Jan. 9, with drop-off locations throughout the five boroughs.

New Yorkers can drop off their trees at any of the locations for free to later be chipped and turned into mulch. Residents must remove all lights, ornaments and netting from the trees before bringing them to a Mulchfest site.

The mulch created by the trees will be used by the city in public parks and gardens to help trees and plants grow. Mulch adds nutrients to the soil, deters weeds, retains moisture and keeps roots warm.

Attendees can also get to watch their tree go through the chipper machine at designated sites from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 8 and Jan 9. Visitors can also take home a free bag of mulch.

Hunters Point South Park in Long Island City is one of 16 locations throughout Queens where Christmas trees can be dropped off for recycling.

The drop-off spot will be set up on Center Boulevard, between 51st Avenue and Borden Avenue, and is being hosted by the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, a volunteer group that helps with the upkeep of local parks. Residents will also be able to watch their trees go through the chipper on Jan 8 and 9.

The HPPC is urging residents to use the free service this holiday season.

“Mulchfest is the perfect environmentally friendly way to dispose of your Christmas tree,” said Rob Basch, president of the HPPC. “Your tree will continue to bring joy as we will use the mulch all year to limit the damage done by weeds.”

Western Queens residents can also head to the nearby Astoria and Queensbridge Parks to drop off their trees for chipping.

Nearly 50,000 trees were recycled during last year’s Mulchfest. The annual event is run by the Parks Dept. and the Dept. of Sanitation.

A full list of Queens Mulchfest locations is listed below. The city is appealing to residents to wear a face covering and practice social distancing if visiting any of the locations.

Drop off locations and chipping sites

Astoria Park located at 19th Street and Hoyt Avenue
Cunningham Park located at 196th Place and Union Turnpike
Forest Park located at Forest Park Drive and Woodhaven Boulevard
Francis Lewis Park located at 3rd Avenue and Whitestone Expressway
Hunters Point South Park located at 51st Avenue and Center Boulevard
Idlewild Park located at Springfield Lane and 149th Avenue
Juniper Valley Park located at 80th Street between Juniper Boulevard North and South
Travers Park located at 78th Street and 34th Avenue

Drop-off location only
Captain Mario Fajardo Playground located at Kissena Boulevard at Booth Memorial Avenue*
John Golden Park located at 215th Place and 33rd Avenue
Queens County Farm Museum located at 73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Queensbridge Park located at Vernon Boulevard and Queensbridge Park Greenway
Rockaway Beach located at 94th Street and Shorefront Parkway
Roy Wilkins Park located at the park entrance at Merrick Boulevard and Foch Boulevard
Windmill Community Garden located at 39-22 29th St.
Windmuller Park at Lawrence Virgilio Playground located at 39th Drive and 54th Street

For more information on Mulchfest and locations, click here

A city worker getting ready to run a Christmas tree through a chipper machine (Photo: NYC Council)

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