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Discard your tree responsibly

WEST POINT — Now that Christmas is over and the tree has come down, it’s time to give some consideration to discarding that tree in a responsible manner.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ West Point Project has a designated location at the boat ramp at Rocky Point Park to drop off that tree. There are also two locations near LaGrange to do that. They are located at the Sunny Point and Yellow Jacket boat ramps.

These locations will be available to the public through January 13.

The trees that are left at the sites near West Point Lake will be sunk into the lake to provide places of refuge and feeding areas for fish.

Discarded trees have a variety of recyclable uses. In addition to serving as fish feeders, they can also be used as soil erosion barriers or chipped up and used as mulch for gardens or used on hiking trails.

A permit is not necessary to place a few Christmas trees in West Point Lake, but anyone who would like to drop a large amount of them should first contact the West Point Project Management Office at (706) 645-2937.

Those who wish to place their own trees in the lake are advised to follow some directions.

  • Do not place the trees where they could become safety hazards to boaters or swimmers. Such places are typically near boat ramps, shallow boat traffic channels on in swimming areas.
  • Use a suitable anchoring system to keep the trees from floating away or moving around. A cement block works well as an anchor for one or two trees. but the block must be securely fastened to the tree using nylon twine or similar material.
  • Trees will attract more fish if they are placed in deeper water and in an area where the water depth changes significantly, such as near an underwater ridge or hump. Fish tend to be around such areas throughout the year.