Alameda Boy Scout Troop 11 Kicks Off

Mary Grace Basco Boy Scouts Teru Khan, Nathaniel Basco, and Sean Mackenzie collect trees to recycle last year during Alameda Troop 11’s annual community service project.

Alameda Boy Scout Troop 11 Kicks Off

50th Annual Christmas Tree Pick Up Program

Alameda Boy Scout Troop 11 is proud to announce it has launched its 50th Annual Christmas Tree Pick Up and Recycling Program this holiday season. Many locals will recall the scouts visiting door-to-door to canvas support, and while this Alameda holiday tradition lives on, some changes are worth noting.

The first Christmas Tree Pick Up started as an Eagle Scout project by Harold Zecher, Jr. in 1972, long before the county offered recycling programs. Today, some will ask why participate in a tree collection service when the county offers tree removal for free? Alameda County Industries actually welcomes the assistance with post-holiday tree removal and gladly promotes the troop’s event on their website. Having the scouts pick up close to 1,000 discarded trees across Alameda each year greatly eases their tree removal burden.

In the past, residents could count on a scout knocking on their door to solicit a donation. Today, with COVID-19 precautions still needed, scouts are placing door hangers on porches, as well as phone calls and internet sales. Cash payments are still accepted as they were 50 years ago, but so are online payments.

For years, the troop created a wall-size map of trees scheduled for pick up, divided the map into zones, and then assigned a crew to each zone. Today, the same planning is needed, but now technology supports mapping the locations of the trees and confirming pick up.

In recent years, Troop 11 has partnered with Juniper Ridge, a Berkeley-based company, that distills essential oils from the trees to formulate fragrances for soaps, perfumes, and incense. The remaining mulch is then used for landscaping at Alameda Point Collaborative — creating additional reuse and reducing trees in the waste stream.

One thing that has not changed is the opportunity for scouts to hone skills such as communication, marketing, salesmanship, art, advertising and public speaking. These skills not only satisfy merit badge requirements, but translate into valuable life skills as well.

To arrange to have your tree picked up by Troop 11, call the tree hotline (510) 473-6802, or visit their website at No flocked trees please and trees must be in Alameda. The cost is $5.00. Donations for trees larger than six feet and “no tree” donations are appreciated. Trees should be placed at the curb by 8:00 a.m. on January 8, the day of pick up.

Additionally, Troop 11 is celebrating 100 years of service to the Alameda community. Anyone interested in joining Troop 11 should contact