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Maine animals want your Christmas tree

Across Maine, farms and animal rescues can make good use of donated Christmas trees.

MAINE, USA — Before you take off your tinsel and ornaments and bring your tree to the backyard, there are other sustainable ways to get rid of your Christmas tree that can provide a major benefit to animals in need.

"If you take the time to compost it, or chip it, or mulch it, or feed animals with it, it's really getting put to a better and higher use and staying out of a landfill," Matt Grondin, director of communications with EcoMaine said. 

Whether it be a local farm, animal rescue, or another organization, dozens of places across Maine can make good use of your tree.

"It kind of brings back some time to them," Michael Robinson, co-owner of RMT Farms in Litchfield said. 

RMT Farms is collecting trees to give to the alpacas, goats, and more on the farm. Robinson said trees like pines can provide important nutrients for the animals during the winter.

"It helps out with giving them a lot of the minerals and vitamins that they don't get this time of year with there being no grass. It can also help as a natural de-wormer," Robinson said. "The animals get the enrichment and enjoyment from it, and kind of breaks up the monotony."

RMT Farms will be accepting trees until Valentine's Day, and you can arrange for a tree to be picked up if you live in the area by visiting the farm's website.

While goats are known for their love of Christmas trees, they're not the only four-legged animals that can benefit from one.

"It's just really fun for them to play with them, and some of our little guys like the porcupine will chew on them, and it's really good for their teeth," Bethany Brown, director of the Saco River Wildlife Center in Limington said. 

The Saco River Wildlife Center is also collecting trees to feed to the animals in its care, like raccoons, squirrels, and porcupines. 

Anyone donating Christmas trees is asked to remove all tinsel, ornaments, and other decorations which can be harmful to animals.

Local animal rescues across Maine are collecting trees. If you have one in your area, RMT and SRWC recommend reaching out to a local farm or animal rescue nearby to see if they could use a tree.

EcoMaine has also created a list on its website of locations where you can sustainably dispose of your tree.

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