FRANKFORT, Ky (WDRB) -- If your family decided to get a real evergreen for Christmas this year, you'll soon have to figure out what to do with it.

If you aren't planning on chopping it up for mulch, you can recycle it.

"It's a great way for us to collect trees for fish habitat to use in our lakes,” said Jeff Crosby, a Central Fisheries District Biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Crosby says they've been collecting Christmas trees for about five years now.

After the holidays, they take them to ponds around the state and sink them.

"Fish are similar to us. They like their houses. They also like the cover that the trees provide. It's a great place for them to seek refuge,” said Crosby.

Crosby says it also helps the ecosystem.

"A lot of the insects and algaes will grow on these trees after they're in the water for a while. It provides them a place to eat also,” he told WDRB.

The program has grown over the years.

There are dozens of drop off sites around the state.

"Over the last several years we've made a larger effort to work on habitats,” he explained.

If you're considering dropping off your tree, officials just ask that you take off the lights and ornaments before dropping it off.

Last year, Crosby says they distributed about 2,500 trees.

He expects to collect even more this year.

"Sounds like it's going to be a bountiful year when it comes to the Christmas trees,” said Crosby.

If you want to find a collection site near you, click here

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