Many of us are decorating our homes with real live Christmas trees over the festive period, and it’s a shame (and a waste) to just dispose of your tree with the rest of the leftover food, wrapping paper, and chocolate wrappers. Fortunately there are plenty of things that you can do with your Christmas tree which are beneficial to both you, and the natural world around you.
Before recycling your Christmas tree, be sure to completely strip it of any lights and decorations. We seriously recommend against burning your tree, especially inside the house.
Compost your Christmas tree – Reduce the size of your tree as much as possible before adding it to the compost heap. Both the trunk and the needles will take a very long time to decompose, so don’t expect a return on your investment for quite some time. Adding tree branches will help to aerate the compost, keeping it ‘healthier’.
Tame pathways with pine needles – Take advantage of the long decomposition time of pine needles by sprinkling them over muddy walkways in the garden.
Mulch with your Christmas tree – Both pine needles and the tree itself can be used as mulch in the garden. If using pine needles as mulch, allow them some time to dry first, which will reduce their acidity. (Some plants like roses, azaleas, holly, onions, garlic and tomato will like the elevated acid levels). If you or someone you know has access to a chipper, you can chip the branch and trunk of the tree itself to use as mulch.
Christmas tree Garden Borders – Chop the trunk of your Christmas tree into small sections and use it to make a decorative border for flower beds, vegetable beds, and pathways.
Give your tree back to nature – If you live close to a wood or forest, drag your Christmas tree out in to the trees, where it can be used by animals as a shelter or for nesting materials. The tree will eventually decompose and become part of the soil.
Turn your Christmas tree into a giant bird feeder – Take your Christmas tree outside in its pot, and decorate it with bird feeders. Click here to read our blog about bird feeding, and learn how to make some great DIY bird feeders to hang from your Christmas tree.
Stake growing plants – Strip branches of your Christmas tree and use them to stake both indoor and outdoor plants.
Plant your Christmas tree in the garden – If you choose to move your live tree to the garden, aim to do it as soon as possible after Christmas. Choose an area that is well drained, and in full sunlight. Don’t plant your Christmas tree too deeply, but ensure that the roots are covered, and redirected (if necessary) so that they can grow away from the tree. Mulch the tree in preparation for freezing weather, and water it regularly. Next Christmas, you can decorate your outdoor tree too!
We hope that all of our customers have a spectacular Christmas, and wish you all a very happy New Year. We’re itching to get back in the garden, and we’re sure you are too.
What will you be doing with your Christmas tree this year? (Don’t say putting it back in the attic – we’ve had enough of that one...)