Officials are urging Minnesotans to properly dispose of Christmas trees and other greens at the end of the holiday season, so insect and disease “hitchhikers” are not released later into Minnesota’s environment. Mark Abrahamson with the state Agriculture Department says:

“Really the thing you don’t want to do is just have these trees or other things laying out in the yard or in your backwoods or whatever when we get into the warmer months. Want to have ’em taken care of before that point.”

Abrahamson suggests using a city or county organized pick-up or drop-off — or burning the greens if that’s not available. But always follow local ordinances.