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Pickups planned for discarded Christmas trees buried in snow

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - All the gifts have been opened, but some presents from the holiday season are still being discovered in West Michigan.

Discarded Christmas trees, left on curbs, are still waiting for collection. Now that the snows finally melting, dozens of them are starting to pop up in Kalamazoo.

Once the center of her familys holiday celebrations, Amy Warrens Christmas tree is starting to emerge from its icy grave. "I did expect the trees to be gone by now," she says.

Driving around Kalamazoo, dozens of trees are visible, stripped of their holiday cheer, waiting for pickup all winter long.

The Westnedge Hill neighborhood is a particular problem area. On Montrose Ave., the trees are being used for a much different kind of display, hoping theyll finally be noticed by the city.

"I actually think its cute because our neighbor stuck their Christmas tree straight up into the snow so it looks like a little tree there. We thought it was pretty humorous," Warren says.

The city of Kalamazoo says the trees havent been collected because many were buried deep in the snow and crews have been slammed all winter long clearing roads.

If this is too much of an eyesore, public services director Sue Foune says dilapidated trees can be brought to the citys Christmas tree dump site on Bank St.

"That will be available through May 1," Foune says. "And then next year, that will be the only location that they can bring trees to, because we will not be picking them up in the neighborhood. With all the snowfall and the potholes our crews have enough to do just maintaining the infrastructure."

Foune says crews will still pick up this seasons trees within the next month, once progress has been made on the potholes. Neighbors say they understand the strain the city is under. Warren says, "I would rather them fix the potholes then pick up my Christmas tree."

Portage will have another round of holiday tree pickups on April 7.