THE beginning of January and that traditional time of year where you can't leave the house without tripping over a Christmas tree someone's dumped in a random spot.

Lanes are rippling with dark green fronds, sad looking boughs are propped up on pavements and you can take a bet some shyster will have dropped their redundant firs in someone else's front garden and run away.

There have been some particularly magnificent efforts this year.

In Hillhead I spotted a Christmas tree half heartedly poked half in and half out a waste bin on the street.

Not even one of the new giant super bins the council's been introducing. Just your regular street bin.

In Partick, the public bin theme continued with a tree draped along the front of a glass recycling bin.

Someone a bit confused there between the green of a glass bottle and the green of a tree leaf.

The best ones are the sites where someone has cheekily thought 'sod it, I'll just stick this on the pavement while no one's looking' and a couple of other folk have joined them.

Before long, there's such a clutch of trees that it looks like a bona fide collection point and people are driving for miles to stick their Christmas tree on a sacrificial pile outside a Tesco Local.

There's the annual hotspots also.

I can think of a few places around the city where every year people come and leave their trees, pots and all, like some sort of sacrifice to a niche festive god, even though they lie there for months without being moved.

This year's absolute star turn, however, is the person who brought their discarded Christmas tree to George Square and left it under the city's giant tree.

Hats off to that person and their bold brass neck.

Whoever you are, please come forward with proof of identity and I'll nominate you to switch on next year's Christmas lights.

Don't get me wrong. Post-Christmas is a nightmare of abstemiousness and disappointment.

Taking the decorations down is disheartening enough before thoughts turn to disposal - I get that.

Years ago my lovely friend bought me a real Christmas tree for my new flat and what a thing of beauty it was.

It looked quite slender in its net wrapping but, once opened, it took up a full quarter of my living room.

At the time, I was utterly skint from having just bought my home and was cutting corners on unnecessary items such as the central heating.

Looking back, I'm not sure how I didn't die of hypothermia but I was afraid of getting a bill in that I couldn't pay and so freeze my hide was the choice.

So, the tree sat in sub zero temperatures until such times as my Swedish friend came to visit from Malmö and I was forced to switch the heating on so as not to be an entirely terrible host.

The Swede was sitting on my sofa reading a book (I couldn't afford a television either) when she drew my attention to the fact there was a ladybird trotting across her sock.

Further investigation showed many ladybirds trotting across many surfaces of my living room and some kind of furry insect about the size of a 50p piece making its way across the floor.

The Christmas tree's inhabitants had come out of hibernation and how delighted we were to see them.

Disposing of the tree was the toughest part. There was no way it was going to fit through my front door so out the window it went, sailing gaily to the garden below as we yelled "timber" and thought we were hilarious.

It wasn't easy to transport to one of the council's designated Christmas tree recycling points but I wouldn't have dreamt of leaving it lying in the grass for someone else to deal with.

Does anyone ever see any of these tree dumpers?

I never have. The trees just materialise as if by magic.

But it's not magic, it's just lazy. Pick up your trees, people, the elves won't do it for you.