WILLIAMSBURG -- For many Christmas trees, life ends after the holiday is over. For the 1,500 trees leftover from Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town™, however, life goes on.
The theme park puts the Frasers firs that decorated the pathways of their annual holiday celebration to good use.
In the landscaping department, some of the trees are put through a wood-chipper and these chips are then set aside to age.
“In spring when we do our mulching the recycled chips are used in back areas and under mature trees," said Sheila Cox, a horticulture technician at Busch Gardens.
The chipped Christmas Town trees make approximately 40 to 50 tons of mulch each year.
Foxes, Arctic wolves, Clydesdales and even an African serval also help with the park’s tree-cycling efforts. Trees are put in their habitats as an enrichment exercise that is both mentally and physically stimulating for the animals.
“Sometimes the smell and texture of the tree is interesting enough to the animals, but we may also hide food or toys in the tree for the animals to find,” said Jennah Moore, an Associate Animal Care specialist at Busch Gardens.