Sad little Christmas treeIt just needs a little love.Photo: Kyle PetersonThere are the Christmas trees you buy, and those you consider buying, and then there are the ones you walk right by because, well, forget getting hit with the ugly stick — they’re a COLLECTION of ugly sticks. (Maybe they just grew there on accident and aren’t part of Happy’s Tree Farm at all?!)

But don’t feel too bad. An Oakland, Calif. fisheries program is giving unwanted trees a spring in their step.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

Pete Alexander of the East Bay Regional Park District collects unsold trees each year, reports The New York Times, and with help from volunteers, he takes them to a lucky, barren lake, where nature coats ’em in algae. Fish follow.

Similar programs are cropping up elsewhere. Lee Mitchell of Shelbyville, Ill., says the submerged trees are part of lake habitats for about five years, adding “Fish use them like crazy.” He recruits volunteers by promising to give them the GPS coordinates of the trees, so they know exactly where to fish.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Ugly tree, beautiful snack. Top that, Charlie Brown.