When Christmas is over, Knox County residents can bring their live Christmas trees to participating Knox County Convenience Centers for free disposal.  

Starting on January 2 and through the end of the month, you can drop off the trees at no costs at one of the facilities listed below. The trees must be cleaned of all ornaments, lights, wire, string and other decor.

Christmas tree drop off locations:

  • Carter Convenience Center – 8815 Asheville Hwy 
  • Dutchtown Convenience Center – 10618 Dutchtown Rd  
  • Halls Convenience Center – 3608 Neal Dr 
  • John Sevier Convenience Center – 1950 W. Gov. John Sevier Hwy 
  • Karns Convenience Center – 6930 Karns Crossing Lane 
  • Powell Convenience Center – 7311 Morton View Ln 
  • Tazewell Pike Convenience Center – 7201 Tazewell Pike

Normal hours of operation for all Knox County Convenience Center are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday; they are closed on Sunday. 

City of Knoxville residents can place their bare trees at the curb for pick-up by public service workers as time and resources allow during the ongoing leaf collection season.

Ijams Nature Center will also be collecting live Christmas trees that will be recycled and ground up into mulch for use on the Ijams trails. Trees can be dropped off at the back section of the Ijams Quarries overflow parking lot any day between 8 a.m. and dusk. Call 865-577-4717 ext. 110 for more information.

If you don't live in Knox County but still need to get rid of your Christmas tree, Oak Ridge has two drop-off locations open until the end of January:

  • Big Turtle Park parking lot, 2525 Oak Ridge Turnpike
  • Solway Park parking lot adjacent to the boat launch, 205 Edgemoor Road

Recreation and Parks Department employees will be on site to assist with unloading at the Big Turtle Park site on Jan. 12 and 19 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., according to the City of Oak Ridge.

For more information, contact the Recreation and Parks Department by phone at (865) 425-3450 or visit their departmental website at orrecparks.oakridgetn.gov.

Some places take trees to put in the water to create fish habitats. 

“A permit is required to place fish attractors or other structures in our reservoirs,” said Josh Burnette, TVA Natural Resources specialist. “We have strict guidelines for how they must be constructed and what can be included. This is for the good of the fish and the people who enjoy our reservoirs.”

So tossing your tree into the lake is not only hazardous but in violation of TVA regulations

Burnette said that each state’s department of wildlife records the placement of these structures, plotting them with GPS coordinates. This way, fishing enthusiasts can find out exactly where they are, and they won’t create safety hazards for boaters and swimmers later on