Twelve Goats-a-Grazing: Amherst resident invites residents to drop off their Christmas trees for tasty disposal

  • Goats, like these shown at the Heritage Fields Farm in Orange, like to eat. An Amherst resident has plans to use her goats to gobble up Christmas trees after the holidays. 

  • Hope Crolius reaches over to pet Autumn the goat, while Heidi, left, feeds away on plants in July at the home of Peter Vickery in Amherst. Crolius, the founder of Goat Girls, is not accepting Christmas trees for disposal this year, but another Amherst resident is. Gazette file photo

Staff Writer
Saturday, January 07, 2017

AMHERST — Goats owned by an Amherst resident are looking forward to munching on Christmas trees when area families are ready to dispose of them.

Michelle Chandler, of 326 West Pomeroy Lane, said she is encouraging people to drop the trees off in the larger half of her front yard, on the west side. All ornaments and tinsel should be removed from the trees.

“The goats will eat all of the needles and much of the bark,” Chandler said. “The rest of the tree will either be chipped for mulch or used to roast marshmallows in the fire pit next spring.”

Evergreens used as Christmas trees are a source of vitamin C and other nutrients that supplement the goats’ normal diet of grain and hay.

For the past four years, Hope Crolius, who runs Goat Girls Brush Clearing, had accepted the trees at a farm on Pelham Road, but she is not doing that this season. Crolius said she is directing those who took advantage of this service to instead bring trees to Chandler.

Meanwhile, the state fire marshal’s office is reminding people to dispose of their Christmas trees, which can dry out and spread a fire quickly should they ignite.

“Whether your tradition is to put up your Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving or just before Christmas, even a well-watered tree quickly dries out and becomes a danger,” state Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said in a statement.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.