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If you’re headed to the beach in NC, consider taking your rotting Christmas tree

Some N.C. coastal towns are welcoming discarded Christmas trees to control erosion. Lexington Herald-Leader, Charles Bertram
Some N.C. coastal towns are welcoming discarded Christmas trees to control erosion. Lexington Herald-Leader, Charles Bertram LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

Some of North Carolina’s most popular coastal communities are asking Carolinians to consider bringing their rotting Christmas trees to the beach.

North Topsail Beach is hoping to get as many as 1,000 dead evergreens in the next three weeks, all of which will be staked to the sand like unwilling tourists, reports TV station CBS17.

The idea, say North Topsail officials, is to use the shriveling trees like nets to collect sand and rebuild the many dunes wiped out by Hurricane Florence, reports TV station WNCT.

“Within a matter of days, you’ll start seeing sand collect,” Town Manager Bryan Chadwick told WITN. “If anybody has lived on the beach, they understand that the winds are here all the time.”

It’s a cheap trick that has worked for years in other coastal states, according to a University of Connecticut report.

“You will find arguments for and against using discarded Christmas trees as erosion control in dunes,” says the report. “The main argument against using them is that a storm can easily wash them away, even trees that are secured with stakes, causing a cleanup challenge.”

In Kentucky, the state’s Fish and Wildlife department has an equally unusual “Christmas for the Fishes” program that drops donated trees into lakes “to create brush reefs,” according to a Dec. 28 article in the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Other N.C. beach sites seeking Christmas trees for dune restoration include Surf City and the Town of Emerald Isle.

Emerald Isle officials have even asked oceanfront residents to grab other people’s trees from curb side piles and drag them to the beach.

The town has just one stipulation: No trees with the decorations still attached.

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