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Give your Christmas tree a second life and new use at Popham Beach

POPHAM BEACH — Last winter, the protective sand dunes along Popham Beach State Park were flattened by high water levels and large, erosive waves. The dunes are a front-line defense to protect adjacent upland pitch-pine habitat and park infrastructure. Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry is teaming up with the Maine Geological Survey for this pilot project using recycled Christmas trees to rebuild the dunes.

Why Christmas trees?

Undecorated Christmas trees are perfect for this purpose, as their multiple branches and needles quickly catch windblown sand and have been used successfully in many other coastal states to help rebuild eroded sand dunes. And Popham Beach, with its exposure to daily onshore and side-shore winds, is the perfect location to use trees to trap sand. 

How does it work?

The Christmas trees will be placed in several rows along the upper portion of the beach to strategically trap windblown sand into multiple dune ridges. Over time, these ridges will stabilize further as dune grass regrows and expands, trapping even more sand. The pilot project, once permitted, will hopefully be constructed in February 2024.  

Undecorated Christmas trees are needed to battle dune erosion. Take a stance, and turn your tree into a chance! Deliver your tree(s) to Popham Beach daily through January, from 9 AM – sunset, to the drop-off spot near the West bath house, located on the right side of the parking lot. You will see signage as you enter the park. Imagine your tree resting in the salty air. It’s a symbol of love beyond compare.

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