Tree pick-up to be week later

Duane Hicks

For some folks, having a real Christmas tree in their home is a cherished tradition.
The only problem is how do you get rid of it once the holidays are over?
Never fear. The Fort Frances Fire Brigade once again will be conducting its annual tree pick-up next Saturday (Jan. 19).
The tree pick-up usually is held on the first Saturday following Ukrainian Christmas, which was this past Monday this year.
But the brigade is busy this coming Saturday so instead will be conducting the pick-up a week later, Captain of Fire Prevention and Education Wayne Riches told the Times yesterday.
“We’ve got fire department training out of town and other people busy with other commitments,” he explained.
“So we’ll conduct it on the 19th.”
The crews of firefighters will begin making their rounds around 2 p.m., Capt. Riches noted.
As in the past, teams will divide the town into sectors and each go to separate neighourhoods to round up trees people leave out for them.
Residents are advised to leave trees out on the boulevard, not in the back alleys, and free of snow accumulation so firefighters easily can see them, Capt. Riches said.
Those who have their trees picked up are encouraged to give a donation to the fire department.
They can leave an envelope in their mailbox, not on the tree, Capt. Riches advised.
Firefighters also can knock on your door if you choose to hand them the donation in person, he added.
Alternately, donations can be dropped off at the fire hall.
As in the past, the brigade will top up the donations and give it to a good cause, which has ranged from local charities to area families in need.
The Christmas tree pick-up–a tradition started here years ago by the Jaycees–not only is a community service but also a fire safety measure.
But the number of residents with real Christmas trees is declining each year and Capt. Riches noted the brigade may not keep the tradition alive after this year.
“I think after this year, we are going to be looking at a central drop-off or a drop-off area,” he hinted.
“We’ve got a few places; it’s yet to be determined.
“We’ll probably offer two weeks to drop them off at this location and then we’ll chip them or burn them,” Capt. Riches added.
“There’s less and less trees every year.
“It’s a big commitment and while the department doesn’t mind making the commitment, it seems like our time would be better served to offer a drop-off point,” he reasoned.
If you have any questions, call the fire hall at 274-9841.