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What to Do With Fallen Woody Debris in the Garden

Rather than toss fallen tree branches and twigs aside, why not recycle them for other purposes within your garden or even in your home? There are tons of different creative projects you can do with your tree debris; here are a few suggestions:

fallen log in garden

Brush pile: Take your fallen branches and create a brush pile, in a desired location away from structures, as a habitat for the birds and other small wildlife that may live around your home. An extra benefit: as the wood begins to decompose, it will enrich your soil. You can also keep your branches for use as kindling/firewood.
Garden design: You can take large branches and turn them into a variety of creations, perfect for adding a little rustic appeal to your landscape. You might nestle a limb into a woodland garden, place a lone log as a rustic seat or you take a bunch of branches and stems and turn them into ladders, fences, “stepping stones”—really, stepping logs—stumps for holding containers, garden stakes for support of other plants. You can also construct simple surroundings for compost heaps. Be creative!
Inside décor: Why not try to transform your tree debris into décor for your home? You can create items ranging from picture frames, coasters and ornaments to curtain rods, furniture and artwork.

Instead of gathering up your fallen branches and twigs, disposing of them based on your city or town’s guidelines, try putting them to good use in your home and garden. Become inspired! With a little imagination, research and the right resources, you can transform your tree debris into spectacular indoor/outdoor designs or useful garden aids.

Image: Scott Basford
Want great design tips from a professional garden designer? Check out the Planning Your Garden Design ebook for a digital compilation of expert designer Rebecca Sweet’s Horticulture columns.

Improve the overall look and usability of your yard with ideas from the Smart Gardening Series: Landscaping Ideas.

Download the Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Garden Projects for great step-by-step instructions for various garden projects.

Whether living on a farm or in a city apartment, you can create your own compost. Learn how in Composting Inside & Out.

Rediscover the pleasures and challenges of a healthier, greener and more self-sufficient lifestyle in Back to Basics.