The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is offering an environmentally sound solution to anyone looking to dispose of their Christmas tree this year.

Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg will be accepting Christmas trees in its parking lot off Route 209 from now until the end of January. The trees will be used to help slow dune erosion.

A bit of fencing along the dunes at Popham Beach, last summer. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Last winter, the sand dunes along Popham Beach, which protect upland pitch-pine habitat as well as the park’s infrastructure, were flattened by high water levels and large waves.

The state is teaming up with the Maine Geological Survey to use old Christmas trees to rebuild the dunes, the department said in a release, a technique that has been used successfully in other coastal states. Popham Beach is exposed daily to coastal winds and the tree branches and needles will catch windblown sand and hold it in place so the dunes can build back up.

The Christmas trees will be placed in rows along the upper portion of the beach in February to trap windblown sand and create multiple dune ridges, the state said. Over time, the ridges will stabilize as dune grass grows, trapping more sand.

Trees can be delivered to the state park daily through January from 9 a.m. to sunset. The drop-off area near the west side bath house, to the right of the parking lot, will be marked with signs.

Popham Beach State Park features a long stretch of sand beach bordered by the Kennebec River to the north and the Morse River to the south.

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