What to do with your real Christmas Tree after Christmas
The presents are unwrapped, and the fairy lights and decorations are safely back in their boxes, patiently in hibernation until the next festive season. Your Christmas tree is next. There never seems to be the right solution for where, when, and how your Christmas Tree, which served you so well, should go. Yet, somehow, this pinnacle representing so much joy and goodwill deserves more than the rubbish bin.
Oh, Christmas Tree - Oh, Christmas Tree, what can you be used for?
Your Christmas Tree can be handy if you have a garden or potted plants. Everything from pines to branches and the trunk can be used to protect and nourish the plants and soil in your garden. You are helping them stay alive and well, by protecting them from the elements. Read our blog here on Easy ways to keep snow and frost at bay - how to navigate it in your garden (insert link).
The Christmas tree trunk, branches, and pine needles can all be repurposed, following the holidays, to make mulch. Chop your Christmas tree trunk and branches into smaller pieces and use them as ground cover to protect your flower beds and soil from cold temperatures. Additionally, mulch can help treat compaction and stop soil erosion that often happens after heavy rain.
Using a shredder would be ideal If you have one or borrow from a neighbour. Remember to protect your eyes with safety glasses and heavy-duty gloves for your hands. If the trunk is too big, save it for firewood or use it to secure plant coverings in your garden.
Much like mulch, you can turn your tree into compost. Use some on your compost heap; your soil will thank you for it later. It may take some time to break down entirely, so you’ll need to be patient before using it.
The pine needles contain a high acid content, so when you’re using it as compost, bear this in mind, as it can alter your soil composition. Some plants do like high acid content, for example, blueberries, daffodils, and some veggies.
Use it to shelter wildlife
We love this one because it is the gift that keeps on giving. First, ensure all decorations have been removed, and then securely position your Christmas tree somewhere sheltered, perhaps near other trees or bushes that yield berries for food. Drill holes in to allow insects to lay larvae. Branches can provide nesting space and bird's shelter while keeping predators at bay. The winter can be harsh for small animals; a shelter can be a real lifesaver. Please read our blog on Plants to plant to attract wildlife to your garden here (insert link).
Build a bird feeder
Birds still have to find a much-needed food supply in winter, and your tree can provide the best place to dine. First, ensure that it is securely fixed in a heavy pot, then decorate the branches with popcorn on a string. Halve-out oranges to create hanging baskets of birdseed or dip pine cones in peanut butter and sprinkle with chopped nuts. It gives decorating the tree a whole new meaning.
Use the branches for garden poles
Remove the branches from the trunk and reserve the needles. Position the branches as a frame to support protective blankets or covers for your plants in freezing weather. For large spaces, create a triangular structure similar to a tent, and remember to secure them with ties well, especially during windy weather. You can bend agile branches to form a bell shape to cover particularly fragile plants with the help of netting. Alternatively, weave them together as a breathable ground blanket for the base of your rose bushes.
Use the trunk as a stake or frame for your climbers
Instead of cutting your trunk down completely, remove the branches and position it so that a climber can use it for support. Trunks make the perfect structure for climbers, and they’re designed for that purpose - carrying the weight of growth over time.
Create a scented delight of potpourri
Nature’s natural air freshener pine needles evoke comforting smells reminiscent of Christmas cheer. Combine the needles with cinnamon sticks, cloves, and some cranberries for a zesty scent. You can use a portion of the tree stump as a container if you feel very hands-on. Then, with the help of a little heat from the radiator and a little water, let the mixture infuse and dry out. Top up after a few days and refresh the ingredients if required.
Repurpose your tree trunk into a feature
Another creative one is using the trunk to make a candle holder. Either for one candle or on its side for several tea lights. You’ll want to cut the trunk to your desired size and, using a pen, mark where each tea light should go. Using a spade bit on your drill, clean out shallow holes for your tea lights. When you’re done, fill in any holes with putty and give it a sand down. Seal your wood to protect it, and you’re good to go.
If in doubt, recycle it
When all else is said and done, if you’re still in two minds about what to do with your tree, recycling it is an honourable course of action. Quite a few garden centres nationwide will use trees for wood chippings for gardens all over. In some parts of the country, they’re used to protect dunes, build up hedgerows and create safety barriers around reservoirs.
Head over to the Online retailer of gardening, groceries, and gifts, UCSFresh. Fresh fruit and vegetables are delivered straight to your door twice a week, so you’re never short of healthy food to be used and reused in your garden as food for animals or compost for your soil. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Join our newsletter UCSFresh news, so you’re always on top of everything to do with gardening and more.