3000 Christmas Trees Help Stabilize Outer Banks Dunes

Placing  Christmas trees in Kitty Hawk. A surprising amount of muscle is needed to do it right.
Placing Christmas trees in Kitty Hawk. A surprising amount of muscle is needed to do it right.

Thanks to a some generous help from some Virginia Beach friends and some really hard work on the beach in Kitty Hawk and Nags Head, a lot of the sand dunes along the beach are looking better than ever.

Donny King chef/owner of Ocean Boulevard in Kitty Hawk got a friend of his up in Virginia Beach to help with Christmas tree collection to stabilize the dunes.

The trees are great for the process. They trap a lot of sand so the dune can begin to regrow. And they are completely biodegradable, so in a couple of years, they’re gone.

It was Chico’s Pizza up in Virginia Beach that had been collecting them and when it wa all said and done they brought down 24 pickup trucks, most towing a trailer, loaded down with discarded Christmas trees.

Meanwhile here on the Outer Banks, there were a few hundred trees already gathered so the end result was somewhere around 2500-3000 trees to put on the beach in Kitty Hawk and Nags Head.

It’s not easy work rebuilding or stabilizing a dune using the trees. Sure the trucks can get them to the beach, but after that, it’s good old fashioned muscle to get them where they’re needed.

It’s not all that technical. The butt end of the tree points to the ocean, but getting them there entails dragging a 6-7’ tree over 100 or 150 yards of sand. 

Some of the pickup did try to get closer to where the trees were supposed to go. That was down in Nags Head. Not a good idea. Loaded down and in very soft sand, getting stuck was pretty much a foregone conclusion. They didn’t need to get towed, but it was a close call.

The trees are just one part of a dune stabilization program that includes planting grasses on the dunes. The larger, more stable dunes are a critical part of protecting property along the shore. 

It needs to be noted, though, that dunes are separate from the beach and whether a beach gains sand or loses it has very little to do with the dune.

Outer Banks beaches are the best there are and Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates has the perfect home just waiting for you.

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