Now that the holidays are winding down it is time to start taking down the decorations and storing them until next year. But what do you do with that fresh Christmas tree? Here are a few options for you to consider:

Use Your Christmas Tree in Your Lawn or Garden

  • If you love bird watching and having a yard full of beautiful song birds, you can turn your old Christmas tree into a bird feeder! Stick the tree in the ground or leave it in its stand. A wide variety of birds will be attracted by cranberry and popcorn strings, stale bread, and dried, chopped fruit. You can also hang whole sunflower heads on the tree along with other bird treats and feeders. Your family will discover that a host of birds will come for the food and stay for the shelter.
  • Another way you can use your old Christmas tree in your lawn and garden is to cut off all the branches and use the trunk to edge your garden or flower beds. The trunk can also be strategically placed in your garden as a resting spot for outdoor critters to rest upon.
  • Use the whole evergreen boughs on perennial beds or nursery rows to protect them from winter freezes and spring thaws. The boughs provide the steady temperatures that most plants need.
  • If permitted in your community, burn the branches and spread the ashes in your garden and flower beds. The branches contain valuable nutrients and minerals that can enrich the soil and help yield better flowers and vegetables.
  • Use a woodchipper to chip the entire tree. Wood-chip is great as a decorative landscaping material, but it also benefits your flower beds and gardens by maintaining moisture and temperature.
  • Many legumes respond to objects they touch by growing in coils along or up them. Needle-free Christmas tree branches have lots of twigs and protrusions for peas and beans to get a grip on. This allows them to grow upwards strongly toward light. Simply stick a small tree branch in the soil next to each new shoot for a free, effective legume-climbing frame.

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Many communities throughout the country have tree-recycling programs, in which trees are collected from residents and then chopped up and used as mulch for plants in community parks and gardens. To find out if such a program exists near you, call city hall. In Lubbock, TX you can recycle your Christmas trees at the Solid Waste Services. You can find more information here.

Burn Your Christmas Tree

The trunk can be sawed into logs and burned in your fireplace or firepit.

Craft Your Christmas Tree

  • Both trunk and branches can be used by woodworkers to whittle and form Christmas decorations or presents for the following year.
  • Use the needles to make aromatic potpourris and sachets to enjoy year-round. After removing the decorations, strip branches of their needles, which will retain their scent if you store them in brown paper bags.
  • If your tree hasn’t dropped all of its needles you can make a wreath with the branches. Cut off small branches and bind them around a circle of wire to make an attractive wreath. This looks even better if some of the cones are still attached.

However you choose to dispose of your Christmas tree, just don’t send it to the landfill. Find a way to allow your tree to contribute more to the Earth or your home.