5 Ways to Reuse Your Old Christmas Tree
Another Christmas has come and gone, and as depressing as it might be it’s time to start thinking about putting away the decorations and taking down the tree. Growing up, this was one of the worst days of the year. What was once a glorious display in our living room was quickly reduced to a shriveled mess of branches and needles, a gloomy reminder that Christmas was truly over. But just because the tree has to come down doesn’t mean it can’t still be useful. This year instead of disposing of your Christmas tree in a landfill, give it a new purpose in the landscape. Here are five ways you can reuse your old Christmas tree.
Christmas Tree MulchingAt the very least, you can find the nearest Christmas tree drop-off point in your city. Make sure your tree is free of all ornaments, lights, etc. and simply drop it off at one of these designated areas. These trees will later be turned into beneficial mulch and wood chips. If possible, you could mulch the whole tree yourself if you have the right equipment. And despite what you might have heard, pine needle mulch will not substantially alter the pH of you soil enough to do any damage. In fact, pine needles make excellent mulch that decomposes slowly and doesn’t need to be replaced as frequently as other types. Pine needle mulch is also lightweight, helps with water infiltration and is easy to apply. Don’t be afraid to add it to your flowerbeds and vegetable gardens.
Disassemble ItIf you aren’t able to mulch your Christmas tree, disassemble it instead. Cut off the limbs and boughs and place them around the root zones of roses and other tender plants. This will protect them from windburn and late spring frosts. The trunk can be turned into wood chips or used as firewood. Why not start a new holiday tradition and use the trunk of your old Christmas tree as next season’s Yule log?
Use It For Wildlife HabitatWildlife love dead trees. Birds will especially benefit from your old Christmas tree. Take the tree to your backyard, stand and all, and hang bird food from the branches. You could even make bird feeder “ornaments” such as pine cones smeared with peanut butter and coated with bird seed. Attracting birds to your landscape has many benefits and will help you get through the dark winter days ahead. Have a pond or lake nearby? You could also sink your Christmas tree into deep water to provide habitat for fish and other aquatic life. In shallow water, dead trees help slow down soil erosion. Make sure you only sink your Christmas tree into ponds and lakes you own or have permission to do so.
As a Vertical GardenAs vertical gardening becomes more popular, especially in small areas, folks are looking for unique ways to grow their gardens up instead of out. Why not use your old Christmas tree as a trellis for growing vines and other climbing plants on? Come spring and summer, your tree might look just as alive and green as it was at Christmas time…with a unique twist.