BEND, Ore. - Christmas trees are harvested in the Pacific Northwest in late November, and although they are usually well-maintained, until they are purchased off a lot, it does not take them long to dry out.
Our houses typically have low humidity (around 35-40%) and are maintained at 68-72 degrees, so even when we care for the trees with care, a couple of weeks indoors is enough to dry them out to highly flammable conditions.
At the point where needles can fall off a tree if a branch is grasped, the tree is flammable enough that any ignition will result in a high rate of heat release. Fire protection researchers compared the energy release rate of a typical dry tree on fire to an 8 to 10 foot pool of gasoline.
Remove the tree from your house and your property as soon as possible after Christmas. Do not burn it, use it for wood stove fuel, or even lean it up against the house. The local Boy Scouts do a tree recycling drive over the two weekends after Christmas, for a small donation. The following is info from Bend Garbage and Recycling:
Local Boy Scout troops will be collecting and recycling Christmas trees in your community the weekends of December 30 & 31, 2017 and January 6 & 7, 2018. Requested donation is $5-$10. 100% of money raised will go directly to the individual scout troops.
Individual troops in your area will post door flyers specifying which days they will be picking up trees in your neighborhood. Trees will be recycled, so please have trees cleaned of all lights, decorations and tinsel.
Bend Fire thanks you for doing your part to keep our community safe!