If you celebrate Christmas you likely either have a reusable artificial tree that you pack up and store away after the holiday, or you cut down a real tree each year. For those that cut down a tree, when the holidays pass many just throw out their tree. But, did you know that there are actually several ways to use and reuse your Christmas tree after the holiday season?
- Make your own mulch
You can use the needles from your Christmas tree for mulch or composite. Mulch itself is a great way to keep the trees in your yard healthy and moist, especially during the cold and drying months. Additionally, pine needles are full of nutrients which can help to enhance the PH of your soil, allowing it to breath without becoming compacted.
Using your Christmas tree for firewood is a great idea, because not only does it make use of your Christmas tree after the holidays, but evergreens are heavy sap trees making them best for outdoor firewood. Sap is highly flammable and evergreens usually burn hot and fast, making them ideal for bonfires.
- Use in your garden
Did you know that wood ash is good for your garden? The ash contains potassium and lime which helps plants to thrive. Not only are the ashes healthy for your plants, but they also help to deter insects. Once your burn the firewood from your Christmas tree, take these ashes and spread them evenly in your garden. Additionally, branches that are cut from your Christmas tree can be laid on the bed of your garden as insulation. This can help to protect your plants from winter freeze and spring thaws.
- Make chips
Run your tree through a wood chipper and in the spring, use these chips under your shrubs. Similar to mulch, the wood chips will help to lessen the number of weeds as well as provide natural nutrients for your soil during decomposition.
- Get creative in your home
Evergreens are beautiful and smell great. Consider getting a little creative. You can use the needles as fresheners by placing them in some sort of sack or paper bag. The breathable sack will allow for it to give off a scent of fresh evergreens, like an air freshener, and aid in retaining this smell all year long. Additionally, natural wood is very trendy, and rustic. Consider using it for home décor, or practical uses. You can use the trunk as coasters, or create other decorative pieces out of the wood for your home. Consider even making a home-made Christmas decoration from it.
- Use it to feed animals
Consider creating bird feeders from or with pieces of the tree. You can even place your tree in a stand outside where you can hang feeders and provide a reservation for birds. Did you know that you could feed aquatic animals with your Christmas tree too? When a tree is submerged in water it can become a thriving reserve for fish. Since the tree is heavy, it will sink to the bottom and stay there. Overtime, it will begin to grow algae which is a food source for fish. This tree can also provide shelter and safety for the fish. Before dropping your tree in a local lake or pond, it is important to check with local officials.
- Curbside recycling
There are often regular pickup schedules during the two weeks following Christmas. These providers will collect your tree for recycling. Make sure to check for pickup times in your local area and also look for size, and gathering requirements. If your local area does not have scheduled pickups, you can likely find a local drop-off center.
Reusing and recycling is great for our environment, and can also be helpful in maintaining your yard naturally. Before your throw your Christmas Tree in the dumpster this year, consider taking advantage of some of the useful and environmentally friendly recycling options above.