Tip of the Week: Ways to Recycle the Christmas Tree

Christmas trees can go to good use after the holidays. Here are some tips for repurposing a de-decorated tree:

  • Re-decorate the tree with treats for wild birds. Leave the tree in its stand or stand it in a large planter with rocks or sand to steady it. Put it on a deck, porch or patio and decorate it with orange halves, pine cones slathered with peanut butter, suet cakes, and small bird feeders. 
  • If your yard borders woods or another type of wild area, lay a de-decorated tree near or in it. Birds, chipmunks, mice and other small animals can use it for cover from predators and harsh weather.
  • Check with your local government or public works to learn of tree disposal sites and times. Many communities pick up all the trees on a certain day and turn them into mulch for playgrounds and parks. Some towns offer the mulch to gardeners.
  • Compost it. Be sure to shred it into wood chips before you add it to the pile. Be aware that pine trees and needles are acidic and may change the pH of your compost.
  • Use branches that aren’t too dried out as filler in flower arrangements.

Read about tree recycling projects nationwide

Do you have a tip or trick to share with other gardeners? E-mail edit@hortmag.com. Your tip could be featured in a future e-newsletter.

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