Don’t mulch your Christmas tree, eat it instead

Now that Christmas is over, what’s the plan for disposing of traditional Douglas fir and pine trees? Though some cities may offer recycling programs like New York’s Mulchfest, a few eco-minded advocates suggest something more crafty: Cook with it. The terpene found in pine tree needles, a-pinene, has been infused into everything from cocktails to cookies—even ice cream—by experimental chefs. “For some reason, when you mix Christmas trees with dairy, it’s kind of unbelievable,” Julia Georgallis, a Christmas tree cookbook author, told The Wall Street Journal. But don’t start searching for pine pesto recipes just yet; most commercially available trees have been grown with pesticides and likely sprayed with fire retardant—that’s on top of the fact that most holiday trees belong to the sometimes-poisonous conifer family. According to the executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association: “It is not a topic of discussion among Christmas tree growers.”

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