By the time December ends, Christmas trees bear the wear and tear of the monthlong holiday. The once pert, green timber is now a droopy-branched, brown-hued fire hazard. While kicking your tree to the curb is one (perfectly good) way to dispose of it, why not send it out in a blaze of glory at the annual Solvang Christmas Tree burn? The brainchild of the town’s Parks & Rec department, the event serves not only as a final farewell to ’Tis the Season but also as one of the largest fire-safety events on the Central Coast.

Christmas trees are notoriously wicked tinder that can ignite a home in minutes; the 10 days following December 25 is when they are most flammable, according to the National Fire Protection Association. But under the right circumstances — supervised by the county fire department at an outdoor location, for example — a conflagration of ex-Xmas trees is a spectacular sight.

If you want to add your yuletide sapling to the pyre, drop it off — sans ornaments, tinsel, and stand — between Monday-Thursday, January 5-8, 2015, at the Old Mission Santa Inés (1760 Mission Dr., Solvang), which is also where the big burn will take place on Friday, January 9, 5-7 p.m. For more information, call 688-5575 or see

Note: If you decide to recycle your tree via curbside pickup, prop it next to your trash bin or inside your green waste container by 6 a.m. on your collection day between January 5 and January 9. Trees more than six feet tall must be cut in half; flocked trees will not be accepted. For more information, call Marborg at 963-1852 or see


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