ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Christmas Day has come and gone, but many people will leave up the tree for a while longer. That can get dangerous.

"You want to make sure that you keep all heat sources at least three feet away from it, no open flames around your tree. And you want to keep that tree watered. Making sure it still has water in there, making sure that the dogs don't drink it," said Captain Gilbert Monroe with Albemarle County Department of Fire Rescue.

At some point soon, it’ll be time to get rid of it.  

"Once it becomes discolored, the needles become brittle and start falling off the tree, it's starting to become really dry," Monroe said.

You can bring your tree to any recycling center in Albemarle County to turn it into mulch, but make sure you take all decorations and stands off the tree. Even most wrapping paper can't be recycled.

"If you have a big yard or wooded area you can always dispose of it in that. We also ask people not to burn it in their fireplaces at home. Pine trees, cedar trees and stuff like that, it's a dirty wood that has a lot of sap built into it that will cause silt buildup in your fireplace," Monroe said.

Charlottesville Public Works will also be collecting bare trees from the curb at 7 a.m. beginning on Jan. 15.