It’s such a waste to trash a Christmas tree after the holidays. It took about 10 or 15 years to grow that tree, and then it’s used for a couple of weeks and tossed out.
Instead, here are 7 ways to put your tree to good use so it doesn’t end up in a landfill.
1) Make potpourri or sachets out of the needles – Snip the needles off the branches and collect them in an 8 oz. jar with a tight-fitting lid. From time to time, transfer a couple of tablespoons of needles into a small decorative bowl, or a small cloth bag sachet that closes tightly with a drawstring. Put the bowl in a dresser or in your bathroom. Squeeze the needles, which will release the oil they contain and emit a nice piney aroma. Put the cloth bag in a dresser drawer or bathroom cabinet, where you can give it a squeeze every now and then to release the pine scent. When the needles dry out, replenish them from the fresh ones in the closed jar. Here are instructions on making the sachet.
2) Use the branches as mulch in your garden or landscape – Use garden shears or, for thicker branches, a small saw. Cut the tree branches one by one. Then, layer the branches under trees and bushes. They make an excellent mulch, and provide shelter for wildlife.
3) Create a bird sanctuary –ThisOldHouse.com recommends placing your tree in its stand outdoors. Fill bird feeders and hang them from the boughs. You can also drape the tree with a swag of pinecones coated with peanut butter.
4) Cut the trunk into pieces and use to edge your garden or for pathways – Cut the trunk into pieces 3 inches thick so they won’t decompose quickly in the elements. Place them flat if you’re creating a path out of them, and on their side if you’re using them as edging.
5) Slice the trunk into coasters – While you have your saw out, cut a section of the trunk into slices about a half inch thick. Leave the outer bark on the wood, but use sandpaper on both sides until they’re smooth. Glue felt to the bottom of the slice. Stain the top of the slice with a water-based stain. You can find the rest of the instructions on Instructables here.
6) Cut the trunk into differing heights to create stands for pots or an interesting winter sculpture – If you’re going to use the trunk as a pot stand, it needs to be made from the thickest part of the trunk, and the bottom needs to be completely flat so it is stable. The top also needs to be flat, so whatever you put on it won’t tip over. There are no rules when it comes to making a sculpture! One option is to make a sculpture out of differently sized pieces of wood. Another is to whittle away pieces of the trunk into a fun and visually interesting design. Do whatever makes you happy!
7) Use it to control erosion –FortCollinsNursery.com reports that many communities use old Christmas trees to shore up eroding beaches and to create windbreaks that help sand dunes rebuild.
If none of these options appeal to you, hopefully, your community will pick up the tree for chipping or composting.
What other ways do you use your old Christmas tree? Please share!
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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.
7 Ways to Keep Your Old Christmas Tree Out of the Trash