The Christmas tree is considered the centerpiece of holiday decor. Throughout the season, it is decorated with splendor, gathered around, danced around, and marveled at on cold winter nights.
But when the holidays are over, what happens to that beautiful, beloved, live Christmas tree? It usually gets tossed to the curb. But, did you know there are quite a few other purposes for your tree after the holidays?
Here are a few top-notch ideas to repurpose your Christmas tree:
Recycle Your Christmas Tree
City and county compost sites are happy to take your used Christmas tree off your hands. Your tree can be broken down, since it is biodegradable, and reused as mulch for landscape.
Needle mulch is a type of garden mulch that is also a fantastic way to repurpose your Christmas tree. The needles are great little insulators to line fragile plants during the colder months of the winter. With time, the needles also provide a nutrient punch for your garden.
So instead of kicking it to the curb this year, recycle!
Use Your Tree for Landscaping
Speaking of mulch, if you want to reap the benefits of turning your tree into mulch, you can use your own wood chipper to create a lovely flower bed that borders your home. Just imagine taking a walk around the homestead in summer, knowing your gorgeous landscape is courtesy of your repurposed Christmas trees.
If you’re really into landscaping, you can cut your tree’s trunk into small circles and create a natural edging around walkways and garden beds. In time, this edging will deteriorate and provide other nutrients for the earth, and your plants.
Turn Your Tree into Valuable Firewood
Chances are, your tree is starting to dry out…which makes for perfect firewood! Knowing you are repurposing your Christmas tree for a midsummer bonfire will certainly do your tree justice.
Chop up your tree and pile the wood for later use. Just remember that pine, fur, and spruce trees burn fast! So be very careful, especially if you don’t intend on chopping the tree up into smaller pieces.
Give Your Repurposed Christmas Tree to the Birds
Your neighborhood birds don’t mind if your tree is no longer living. They love to build nests within it and if they are lucky, you may even decide to hang a few bird feeders or birdhouses amongst the old boughs.
Place your repurposed Christmas tree in a stand, so it’s upright and then hang suet, peanut butter-coated pine cones, and other tasty treats to attract the local fauna. If you want to get real snazzy, hair from your hairbrush and other biodegradable materials can be left in the tree for birds to use for nesting material in the spring.
Feed it to the Fish
In the wild, trees naturally fall into lakes and ponds. If you have your own, you may want to consider donating your Christmas tree to the fish.
Fish will be grateful for the protection and eventually, the source of nutrition the tree will eventually provide. In time, algae will grow on the tree and provide food for the wildlife within the water.
Before you decide to give your tree to the fish, check your local regulations to make sure it’s legal to do so.
DIY Your Old Christmas Tree
Maybe you aren’t much of a landscaper, but your DIY skills are Pinterest-worthy! If that’s the case you can create a plethora of goodies from your recycled tree. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Sache of pine needles as potpourri
- Coasters from the trunk of the tree
- Ornaments for next year’s Christmas tree
- Pet toys (scratching posts for cats)
The possibilities are endless, and if you’re one with a wild imagination, your list of ideas has probably doubled in size!
Give it Back to the Earth
Lastly, what could be better than returning your tree to its origins? You may not know it, but it’s possible to replant a tree if it has been cared for appropriately.
Here’s what you need to know:
If you plan to replant your tree after the holidays, you have to plan ahead…before you even cut your tree down.
A tree with a damaged root system will not live…so everything must be intact. This means, you cannot chop your tree down, it must be pulled.
Additionally, your tree cannot be overheated during the winter. Keep it in a cool room far from furnaces or space heaters. If you’ve done these things, you can replant your tree by following these steps:
- Plant your tree immediately after the holidays. Like.the.day.after.
- If the ground is frozen, give your tree some mulch and water it in a cool place once every 2-3 weeks.
- Once the ground is thawed, get your tree into the ground.
- Dig a hole, cover the roots, and water your ex-Christmas tree extremely well.
- Water often.
Amazing! With any luck, your Christmas tree may be ready for another holiday in the future, or maybe just as a lovely decorated tree in the front yard.