For over 30 million Americans, 50 million Europeans, and millions more around the globe one of the best perks about the holidays is bringing the outdoors in with the fresh fir scent of a Christmas tree! With live trees being especially popular this year to add a little extra cheer to our homes, this might leave many wondering “well, what do I do with this tree now?” There are several ways to “recycle” your Christmas tree so that it continues to serve a purpose long after the presents are unwrapped. Read on to find out how you may re-use your tree this year!
Here Are 4 Clever Ways to Repurpose Your Christmas Tree:
Purchase a Tree to Re-plant
Though this practice is not as popular as it has been in the past, it’s possible to buy a Christmas tree that has been grown in a planter or that is a “ball and burlap” tree, meaning it has been grown in a field, dug up, and wrapped in burlap to be replanted. These trees can be brought inside for the holiday season and then re-acclimated to the outdoors to grace your landscape for years to come! If you intend to implement this practice, it would be useful to ask around at local nurseries to see if they grow trees that could be suited to this purpose and thrive in your climate.
Residents of warmer areas may need to be more flexible in their choice of tree if a more traditional fir or pine isn’t suited to their area. Be sure to take care to gradually reintroduce the tree to the outdoors if you are experiencing temperatures near freezing; this can be quite a shock after the comforts of indoor heating! Also take care to keep your tree well-watered, especially if it’s a ball and burlap tree. You won’t want it to dry out and increase the chance of planting shock when it’s moved outdoors!
Repurpose the Boughs
The boughs from your Christmas tree can be cut off and used outdoors once the holidays are over for flora and fauna alike! Lay some branches out in your backyard for birds and other animals to use as a shelter over the winter. This is also an ideal way to provide extra protection to tender perennials that have died back. Simply put out a layer of branches over the crown of the plants to trap warmth and ward off the wind. Peonies will be especially happy to receive this treatment.
Compost Your Tree
We touched on the benefits of composting in a previous article, which outlined scenarios where it would be possible to compost your tree. If you have the space available, cut up your tree into manageable pieces and compost as usual. If this is not possible for you, check to see if tree pickup is an option in your area. Often trees will be collected so that they stay out of landfills. They can be recycled either into chips or compost which you may be able to pick up and use late.
This is where you can really get creative! For those of us who are a little handier, we can upcycle our tree into items for future use. Your typical tree trunk may not be large enough to fashion your next dining table, but this also means it will be manageable to craft candle holders, ornaments, or even a festive wreath! Wooden coasters are another fun way to add a woodsy flair to your home year-round. The sky is the limit on what you can fashion your tree into!
I hope that this article has stimulated you to make the most out of your Christmas tree after the New Year has come and given us a fresh start.
Leave a comment below when inspiration strikes on how you’d like to repurpose your Christmas tree this year!
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Jennifer has always had a love of being active in nature and has brought that together by studying English and Horticulture at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina and by later obtaining an AFAA Personal Training Certification.