Xmas Needle Reduction?
December 29, 2008 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Genius ways to get the Christmas tree out of the condo building without a bajillion needles everywhere?

I loved my very first real christmas tree. Then I went to visit family for six days and it became dry - but not as dry as I feared. Still green, needles not *everywhere* yet.

Has some genius developed a method for getting a tree out of a house/apt/condo with minimal needle explosion? I live in a big condo building, and this will involve several corridors and an elevator.

I think there is some sort of bag number you can pre-position beneath the tree, but I failed to have the foresight to purchase such a gizmo.
posted by CaptApollo to Home & Garden (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I tossed mine out the window when I lived on the second floor.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:45 PM on December 29, 2008

I had the foresight to purchase the genius bag gizmo number, but if I hadn't had, I would try to stitch something together using plastic trash bags (the big black yard waste ones) and duct tape.

A pair of scissors might get involved, too.
posted by notyou at 6:48 PM on December 29, 2008

Get a large square of plastic sheeting. Cut a slit from one edge to the middle. Use the slit to put the sheet around the base, then tape up the slit. This is the base.

Tape additional pieces of sheeting to the base to form the sides. Finally, either tape the sides together or tape a top piece to the sides. Cinch the whole thing down with rope or additional tape to reduce strain on the seams.
posted by jedicus at 6:52 PM on December 29, 2008

Pallet wrapping plastic. Go to the uhaul store if you can't find it at lowes/home despot/whatever. It's industrial plastic shrink wrap, and it'll wrap that tree up tighter than...some inappropriate phrase about mothers and igloos.
posted by TomMelee at 7:00 PM on December 29, 2008

After you get everything off, pull out the vacuum. Use the hose and get the needles off before they have a chance to fall off while moving. There's a good chance you'll be vacuuming them up anyway.

Alternatively, you could knock the tree around so that the needles fall off right there. Brooms, kids, crazy beagle puppies that like to climb on everything, almost anything can work.
posted by theichibun at 7:06 PM on December 29, 2008

Seconding pallet wrapping plastic. It comes on rolls like a lint roller and one or two ought to handle a full-size tree. Get a helper to pass it back and forth and wrap that sumbitch up like a Christmas cocoon. Home Despot ought to have it.
posted by ostranenie at 7:08 PM on December 29, 2008

Best answer: The old-fashioned green solution: old bed sheet or two. Wrap around. Carry out. Remove sheets and launder.
posted by marsha56 at 7:08 PM on December 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

Tip it over onto an old sheet, wrap it up, and cart it out with a friend. Easy peasy.
posted by fracas at 7:10 PM on December 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Drat, too slow! ;)
posted by fracas at 7:10 PM on December 29, 2008

Hairspray. Lots and lots of it.
posted by longsleeves at 7:12 PM on December 29, 2008

my only advice is to undertake this task very seriously. wrap it up tighter than . . . the mothers and igloos thing. one wrong move will send a cascade of needles flying over the edge of a loosely wrapped sheet. trust me. I still regret getting a real tree last year. those needles were EVERYWHERE. i still see them occasionally when I sweep. never again!!!!
posted by lblair at 7:15 PM on December 29, 2008

Best answer: one wrong move will send a cascade of needles flying over the edge of a loosely wrapped sheet.

Very true but a fitted sheet can help somewhat with that ...the elastic can help keep things secure.
posted by cabingirl at 7:24 PM on December 29, 2008

Tree condom?
posted by Xhris at 7:46 PM on December 29, 2008

The tree bag gizmos are 50% off (or more) at yon local big box department store. I picked one up earlier today for the princely sum of 30 cents.
posted by jamaro at 7:53 PM on December 29, 2008

burn it
posted by dawdle at 9:11 PM on December 29, 2008

Large condo buildings often don't have ways of disposing of trees whole, unless you are loading it in your car and driving it to a waste transfer station yourself. You probably can't just dump it in your building's dumpster.

If you have any means of dismembering the tree (garden sheers, saw, etc) or know someone who does (a friend with an actual lawn, or perhaps your building manager), it may be best to chop it up in your unit, bag the small pieces in regular garbage bags, and then take the bags and the bare trunk down to the trash room. If possible, you can hack up and bag the trunk, too.

It's a lot of work, but Christmas trees tend to be very hard to dispose of in condos. In my limited experience, they're just not set up to handle large amounts of yard waste.
posted by kprincehouse at 1:28 AM on December 30, 2008

Also, when in doubt, ask the building manager. He'll have a preferred way of handling this problem.
posted by kprincehouse at 1:29 AM on December 30, 2008

We used to take one large black garbage bag, slip it over the top of the tree, remove from stand and flip upside down, then slip a second garbage bag over the trunk end. Worked fine with minimal vacuum cleanup.
posted by rachaelfaith at 6:25 AM on December 30, 2008

If a sheet is not big enough- seconding the cellophane wrap or a large tarp.
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 6:42 AM on December 30, 2008

i would probably not contact the building manager. he may have a preferred way of handling the problem but it also may be something you don't like (along the lines of "you weren't supposed to have real trees" or "who's going to clean up all the mess in the hallway?" or in the very least he won't be all that interested.) but i would say the sheets and plastic trashbags is probably a good idea. just set it by the curb, and if you think it's a problem look online-- many cities have services to come out and collect trees or you can arrange for a bulk trash pickup.
posted by big open mouth at 8:03 AM on December 30, 2008

When we used to use real trees, I'd cut the branches off the tree with a pruning shears with it still in the stand in the living room, dropping them into a single big trash bag. At the end, I'd have a single bag and a log to carry outside for the city recyclers to pick up. Any fallen needles would be localized to where the tree was and easily vacuumed.

Today, I'd probably lay out a tarp and use it to bundle up the dismembered tree.
posted by chazlarson at 8:17 AM on December 30, 2008

If you freeze it the needles stay manageable.
posted by toastchee at 11:52 AM on December 30, 2008

Response by poster: Went with a fitted sheet - worked like charm, and provided comfy handles to carry the spiny beast. Thanks MeFites!
posted by CaptApollo at 7:26 PM on December 30, 2008

Window. I dragged mine out last year and left a trail of pine needles that no vacuum could remove from the indoor/outdoor carpeting in our stairwell.

My neighbors were PISSED.
posted by my_thai at 2:58 PM on December 31, 2008

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