Disposing of Christmas trees isn’t so baaad

Some goats enjoy the fresh taste of Christmas tree. -MV Times

If a Christmas tree is clogging up your living room space or pickup truck’s cargo bed, maybe a bleating pal can be of assistance. 

Some farms on Martha’s Vineyard are accepting donations of real Christmas trees (no plastics, please) for their goats to chow down on, leading to a sustainable and munchable disposal method. 

Rebecca Gilbert of Native Earth Teaching Farm in Chilmark told The Times donations are welcome as long as the trees are “natural, and not sprayed.” 

“We’d love to have them,” Gilbert said. 

Some Christmas trees are sprayed with chemicals to keep animals from eating them and to prevent the needles from falling off. At one time, Gilbert’s farm received two trees that “looked the same,” but the goats and deer did not touch one of the trees, which turned out to be sprayed.

“That’s how we found out about that,” Gilbert said. However, sprayed trees are not a lost cause. Native Earth Teaching Farm occasionally holds bonfires, and the trees unfit for goatly consumption can fuel the flames. 

Not all farms can take on discarded trees. 

“We aren’t accepting trees,” Julie Scott, executive director of Slough Farm in Edgartown, said. “We only have two goats, and they don’t seem to love them.”

Although some farms may be taking a break for the holidays, like the Grey Barn in Chilmark, try contacting one in your town to see if they want extra snacks for their goats.


  1. How does one know if the tree has been sprayed? I’d happily donate ours, but not if it’s going to be a problem. We usually burn ours a little at a time in the fireplace.

Comments are closed.