8 Creative Ways To Recycle, or Reuse, Your Christmas Trees

Read before you dispose your Christmas tree.

It’s the time of the year when most of us are taking off the holiday decorations, especially the Christmas tree. Every year, the US sells around 25 to 30 million real Christmas trees for the holidays. Which brings us to the most critical and debated question – Whether to get a real Christmas tree or a fake Christmas tree? (*Thinking emoji)

Christmas trees
Elina Fairytale/Pexels

Real Christmas Trees Vs Fake Christmas Trees

Sure, a fake Christmas tree might seem like the safer option as you don’t really need to cut any trees, plus you can reuse it for the next few years. Unfortunately, artificial Christmas trees do more harm than good ‘cause they’re made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is a very toxic type of plastic. (Oh Damn!)

On the other hand, real trees are the best option, when you buy them from the right place. You can simply google ‘Christmas tree farm near me’ to get an ethical tree. These places grow trees, only to harvest them for Christmas. You can easily get a big or small Christmas tree delivered from these places to your home. (Woah!)

Christmas tree farm
Any Lane/Pexels

Now, another important question – What should we do with the Christmas tree, once the holidays are over?

Yep, most of us go wrong by simply tossing it in the trash. But there are a few totally fantastic ways to reuse or recycle your Christmas tree. Here’s how –

8 Creative Ways To Recycle, or Reuse, Your Christmas Trees

1. Mulch It Up

Pine needles decompose slowly and dry easily, which makes it really good mulch for your garden. You can even find communities that take Christmas trees and compost them to use in community parks and gardens. ​​Just type ‘free tree disposal near me’ on Google and you will know where to take your Christmas tree to get recycled.

2. Turn It Into A Bird Sanctuary

You read that right~ A Christmas tree need not be alive for birds to make a home in it. All you have to do is put some food out for the birds. If you are the creative type who loves decorating, even better – just make some edible decor with seeds and berries and hang them on the tree. Soon, you will find your backyard filled with various kinds of birds. (Just another reason to take up a hobby like birdwatching or photography, after the holidays!).

Christmas Tree As Bird Sanctuary
Rebecca’s Bird Gardens

3. Ash Your Garden

Unlike coal ash, wood ash is super nourishing for your garden soil. Once the sap dries out from the Christmas tree (it usually takes a few months), you can burn it and spread the ash. It will also keep insects away. Our suggestion (and a safer one!) would be to start a bonfire outdoors if there’s still sap in the tree trunk as the creosote build-up can pose a threat indoors.

4. Feed It To The Fish

No! Fish do not eat Christmas trees, silly! But they do eat the algae which a tree would surely have, when dumped into the water. If you have a lake or a pond nearby, just take your tree out there (after getting permission from local authorities, of course!). The old pine makes a natural habitat for the fish. Some communities even offer a drop-off service for trees. The only caution is to make sure there are no hooks, ornaments, or decorations still remaining on the tree, before you get rid of it.

Christmas Tree As Fish Habitat

5. Insulate Your Garden

You can cut the branches and lay them on your garden bed. This evergreen blanket will protect your plants from the freezing winters and help regulate the temperature too. You can also use these as garden edges.

6. Repurpose The Trunk

You can either use the whole trunk to place it somewhere in your garden as decor, or chop it up into wooden coasters. Ensure to sand down surfaces and seal them to prevent sap from leaking. You can also remove the pine needles and use the tree structure to support other shrubs and vines.

Repurpose The Trunk
Garden Therapy

7. Make Tea & Fresheners

Yes, most pine needles are edible (unless they are poisonous!) and a rich source of Vitamin A and C. All you gotta do is – steep them in hot water and have a refreshing cup of tea. However, make sure the tree was not sprayed with any pesticides or insecticides. You can also crush some pine needles in a potpourri and fill your home with a woody, Christmassy scent.

8. Make It A Dune Saviour

Check with a coastal community and see if they accept Christmas trees to improve their dune ecosystem. The trees prevent sand erosion due to strong winds as the needles retain sand and vegetation. They also help in building and repairing the damage to the sand dunes.

Christmas Tree to save Sand Dunes
Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Here’s another tip: Try to get your trees with their root ball attached. This way, you can actually replant the Christmas tree in your garden or backyard. Take care of the tree and use the same one for the coming years (especially if you like a mini-Christmas tree). 

Another option is to uproot it and give it away to a nearby Christmas tree farm or the U.S. Forest Services to replant. Now, isn’t that great?

Here’s To A Conscious Christmas And A Very Happy New Year!

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