Friday, Nov 21, 2014
Agri Leader

What to do with your tree after the holidays


Published:

The holidays are filled with comforting traditions, both new and old. Those who celebrate Christmas spend a lot of time searching for and decorating the perfect tree. However, once the presents have been unwrapped and the holidays are over, many people are at a loss as to what to do with their drying tree. Here are a few ways you can make the most of your Christmas tree this year.

Natural Habitats

Used Christmas trees make excellent wildlife habitats. If you have always wanted to draw unique birds into your yard, this is the way to do it.

Before moving your tree outdoors, you must remove all of the decorations. Be sure to remove small ornaments and tinsel, as they could be harmful to birds if eaten. Move the tree outdoors and securely stake it or leave it in the stand.

To attract birds, you can string popcorn or hang fresh fruit from the limbs. Pine cones make great bird feeders and they are easy to make. Simply coat the pine cone with peanut butter and roll in birdseed. Hang it from the tree with string or ribbon and wait for the birds to arrive.

Christmas trees also make great hideouts for rabbits and other mammals. Lay the tree on its side in your backyard to attract wildlife. If you have a pond, use your old Christmas tree to create an underwater habitat for fish. Cut branches from the tree and place them in various areas of the pond. This gives fish a shelter to hide in.

Mulch

After removing your ornaments, take your tree outside and cut the tree into smaller pieces using a saw. Place the smaller pieces into a wood chipper to cut it into mulched-sized chips. Spread the mulch around the trees and shrubs in your yard to hold in soil moisture. A 3-inch layer of mulch will also slow down weed growth. You can also place the wood chips in your compost bin, as well.

Start A Compost Pile

Evergreen branches are a great basis for flooring in a new compost pile. Trim the branches to fit into your compost bin and stack them up to 6 inches in height. This will create airflow underneath the branches, helping them to break-down over time. Add other compostable items to your bin, as well. Some good choices are kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, grass clippings and leaves.

Recycle The Trunk

The trunk of your Christmas tree has a variety of uses. You can cut the branches away and split the trunk into logs. Allow them to season and use them for firewood next winter. You can also make garden stakes out of the trunk or use it as the basis for a sturdy garden trellis.

Contact Your Recycling Center

If you don't want to use your Christmas tree in the garden, but hate to throw it away, you can recycle it. Contact the county in which you live for instructions on how to recycle your tree. In Polk County, residents can place their old Christmas tree curbside along with other yard waste on their designated pick-up day after the holidays. The county will remove the tree and chip it up as mulch. There are also a variety of non-profit organizations that will pick-up Christmas trees after the holiday. A quick Internet search of your area should help you locate a group that can help.

These are just a few ways you can make good use of your Christmas tree once the holiday has passed. Recycling trees is a great way to get the most use possible out of one of our natural Florida resources.

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