To the Editor:

As part of the town's 375th celebration, a Christmas tree bonfire has been proposed at the Manchester Athletic Club.  Although forest fire risk is close to zero at that time of year, a greater concern would be the sudden release of greenhouse gases and fire particulate matter, the latter being the most serious immediate health hazard. Granted, these trees would eventually decay anyway and be part of the natural carbon cycle.  But composting would sequester most of that biomass into the soil to expedite new growth and more sequestration.

It is true that composting Christmas trees would take longer and require more space, but it is remarkable how my several brush piles decrease in height after each year, making room for more. I have over two acres with a lot of vegetation, both natural, cultivated and invasive

which must be culled each year. But I gave up burning twenty years ago. Composting is the way to go. 

George P. Smith

Manchester-by-the-Sea