Are you still clinging to 2017’s Christmas tree? We don’t blame you. Weren’t we singing “O Christmas Tree” not two or three weeks ago? Now we’re supposed to toss it to the curb?
Here are some ideas to make the most of that used-up Tannenbaum, both inside and outside!
Municipal Christmas Tree Recycling
The easiest option, if it’s available in your region, is to take advantage of public environmental recycling opportunities. If you live in an urban center your municipality may offer free Christmas Tree Recycling programs. Cities and municipalities repurpose old Christmas trees, either chipping them into mulch or composting them. This is used in public landscaping projects or, redistributed to citizens for their private needs. If your region doesn’t offer a recycling program, check to see if you can take your tree to a depot for environmental waste.
Give The Christmas Tree Back To The Environment
While your old Christmas tree may not be welcome in your home anymore, it’ll live just fine in your garden. Pine needles make a great mulch, as they dry quickly but decompose slowly. Since pine needles won’t get moldy, your flower or veggie garden will make great use out of their nutrients! Another way your tree can help the landscaping is by turning them into wood chips. You can then spread the chips beneath your shrubs and trees. Rent or borrow a chipper and feed the tree through, or get the whole neighbourhood involved and throw a chipper party!
If you found a nest or, worse yet, an actual animal in your tree after choosing it, you’ll know first hand that a Christmas tree makes a great shelter. Ask your local conservation area to see if they accept trees to make fish shelters! The branch structure can make for a great fish habitat, and the decomposing pine will attract algae and other microscopic creatures that form the bottom of the food chain. If not, keep it close to home and use the boughs of your tree for shelter; they can be cut off and used to provide excellent coverage for perennials, protecting them from the snow and reducing the impact frost will have on their growth.
DIY Christmas Tree Crafts
Christmas trees are great for crafting, too. The trunk can be used for a lot of different projects:
- Use a hacksaw or bandsaw to chop off thin sections of the trunk. Then, sand and stain them to make some cool DIY coasters.
- Get a wood burning kit and make a neat design on a small disc cut from the trunk; bore a small hole in the top, put some string through, and voila – you’ve got a piece of last year’s tree to decorate this year’s!
- Cut the trunk into two-inch discs, and embed them in the soil around your garden for some added rustic charm.
- If you have a feline friend who loves nothing more than to scratch your furniture, the trunk of your tree will make an ideal scratching post.
Of course, another solution is to pitch your old tree outside and use it to make a rather tall bonfire. Be safe! It might not be dry enough yet to catch on its own, and you really shouldn’t be using any fuels to set it off. You can always strip the needles and chop it up so it’s ready for next summer’s bonfire season. But first, make sure that you’re not violating any local fire regulations!