When it’s time to un-trim the tree we are often left wondering what to do with our live-cut tree. The last thing you want to do is send it to the city dump or drop it along a country road where it can cause an accident or interfere with snow removal efforts. Here are few green ways to put that retired Christmas tree to work.
- Prop the tree in the garden and cover it with suet cakes as well as pinecones rolled in nuts, dried berries and peanut butter. The birds and squirrels will thank you and the kids will have a fun project for the day.
- If you have a place that is out of the site of the neighbors, place the tree along the back of a garden or fence line to provide a safe resting place for small birds and animals.
- Use a few of the branches to design a new winter container garden display. Include redtwig dogwood branches, southern magnolia leaves and branches and tufts of dried grasses.
- Use branches to help insulate areas planted with bulbs and perennials. Pine boughs are also a nice covering for perennials, such as roses, that have a bit of their crowns exposed.
- When the needles dry, shake them loose over a ground cloth to collect them and then use them as mulch. If you don’t have a lot of needles, or too much garden to cover, save the needles to mulch containers.
- Chip the tree to use as mulch or as a woodland path.
- Take it to your local yard-waste facility where they will compost the tree or chip it for use as mulch.