MDC helps host annual red cedar tree holiday harvest

News from the region
Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Have yourself a merry little red cedar tree for Christmas. Or make it a big tree if you'd like. The Missouri Department of Conservation participates in a bi-state partnership called Kansas City Wildlands to restore natural habitats on public lands such as community parks. That includes removing red cedar trees from grassland and open woodland areas.

The cooperative's 14th Annual Red Cedar Christmas Tree Event will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, at Mildale Farm, a Johnson County Parks and Recreation District site at 35250 W. 199th St. in Edgerton, Kansas.

Cedar trees are fragrant and nicely reflective of lights and ornaments when placed in a home for the holidays. They are a native tree that provides shelter and food for wildlife. But they are also an aggressive invader that can crowd out desirable native plants in prairies, glades and open woodlands.

The Wildlands tree cutting event utilizes cedar trees for holiday fun but also boosts habitat for other native plants. Wildlands suggests a donation of $15 per tree. The tree donations are important for habitat restoration projects in parks on both sides of the state line in the Kansas City metro.

Volunteers with Wildlands will have hay wagons to help visitors get their trees back to vehicles. Patrons are asked to bring a handsaw (no chainsaws or axes) and rope to secure the tree to the vehicle. Volunteers can help with all phases.

Participants can also take a ride on the hay wagon to the bonfire and enjoy hot cider and cookies.

For more information contact Linda Lehrbaum at 816-561-1061, ext. 116, or by e-mail at

For information on Christmas tree care and recycling, visit the MDC website at