If it's the day after Christmas, it's time to start thinking about mulching your possibly very expensive tree—because it's Mulchfest Time!
The annual event starts a few days before the new year, on December 26th, when the New York City Parks Department offers 74 drop-off points for residents to bring their trees for, er, "tree-cycling." The locations can be seen on this map, and they include:
Van Cortlandt Park: Golf course at Bailey Ave. & Van Cortlandt Park S.
Prospect Park: Lincoln Rd. & Ocean Ave.; Park Cir. & Parkside Ave.; Third St. & Prospect Park W.
Washington Square Park: Fifth Ave. & Washington Square N.
Hunters Point South Park: 51st Ave. and Center Blvd
Conference House Park: Parking lot at Hylan Blvd. & Satterlee St.
Mulchfest runs through January 9th. On the weekend of January 8th and 9th, New Yorkers can drop off their trees at one of the 35 chipping sites for "Chipping Weekend," for the truly metal experience of seeing their Christmas tree chipped to bits and get a bag of mulch to take home.
The Parks Department estimates they typically welcome 25,000 to 30,000 trees to Mulchfest each holiday season, though the record was during the 2019-2020 mulching era, with nearly 51,000 trees. Mulch made from the Christmas trees is used for trees and parks, including street trees, across the city.
For those of you who can't make it to a Mulchfest location, the Sanitation Department says that Christmas tree pick-up will run between January 6th through January 15th, "barring any delays that may be caused by snow events." Also, trees should not have any tinsels, lights, ornaments or tree stands, and should not be put in a plastic bag. And if the Christmas trees seem to be on the sidewalk a little longer, just be patient because trees are collected separately from the usual trash and recycling route. The DNSY calls this seasonal fleet the “Best Smelling Collection Trucks in the City.”
These sidewalk trees—they estimate they'll pick up 200,000—will taken during this period will be mulched as well!