Before you send your live Christmas tree out on the curb for yard waste pickup or to the Boy Scouts for recycling, there may be another use that’s perfect for you and your tree.
- Kindling: Throw your live tree in your brush pile, let it cure, and then cut it up for kindling for next fall.
- Save Your Perennials from Freezing: Cover your perennial beds with your cut up pine boughs to either insulate them from future sub-zero weather, or for preserving the piled up snow that’s already on them. Repeated freeze-thaw cycles can kill your best perennials.
- Trivets and Coasters: Cut 1” disks from the trunk to make trivets or coasters. It’s a fun project for the kids
- Bird Feeder: Prop up your tree outside in the back yard and trim it with strings of popcorn and birdseed ornaments so your wild birds can have a winter feast.
- Do Something Really Cool With Your Tree: Fabien Cappello fashioned stools from abandoned Christmas trees on the streets of London.
- Plant Stakes: If you don’t have access to sticks in the woods near you, strip the branches of their needles and use them to stake your indoor plants that need some extra support.
- Pea Sticks: You can use the stripped branches as pea sticks later in the spring. Criss-cross them to make a trellis for your peas to grow up.
- Marshmallow Sticks: Those same pea sticks can then be used as marshmallow-roasting sticks in the summer.
- Garden Edging: Cut the trunk into disks to use as a garden border if you line them up on their sides and dig them 2” into the soil. These look really pretty on the garden’s edge.
- Fire Starter: We save some of our needles to use in our homemade fire starters.
- Potpourri: Use the needles for a homemade balsam potpourri.
- Garden Path: Use the disks cut from your tree trunk as flat stepping “stones” in your garden path. If you have a chipper, the wood chips from your tree can make nice garden path material, too.
- Erosion Barrier: We have used past trees along a slope on our property to help prevent a slope from slipping. This is our ongoing brush pile that is stabilizing the slope and holding up our lawn above it nicely.
- Habitat: If your tree ends up in your brush pile, or out in a spot on your property, it provides cover for birds and little rodents, making a safe habitat for plenty of critters. Some experts claim that throwing a tree into your pond can provide safe cover for your fish.
- Save the Blue Herons: In Illinois a special Christmas tree recycling program reuses the trees as nesting materials in a blue heron rookery.
What do you do with your tree? Are there any other reuses that we didn’t include?