As all good things come to an end, Christmas is now over. As the festivities slowly fade away, it's time for the Christmas decorations to be put back into their boxes and await another year to shine. But what happens to the Christmas tree?
A fake tree will join the rest of the ornaments in the attic, but what about the real Christmas trees? You might be puzzled as to how it should best be handled. Therefore we decided to present you with an array of options for disposal.
You can chop it down for garden usage, drive to the nearest tree recycling programs and use it in composting, Have you ever thought to use its trunk for edging flowerbeds? There are many ways for a Christmas tree go beyond its designated ornamental purpose.
Let’s see then how to reuse your tree when Christmas is over…
A great way to repurpose the Christmas tree is by creating bird feeders and bird houses for your back garden. The feathered travellers will be very pleased to find food awaiting for them in the frost of winter. The diet of birds usually includes sunflower seeds, fruits, corn, peanuts and kitchen scraps.
You can opt for the easy way of creating a sanctuary for birds by simply placing the Christmas tree in the back garden and letting nature do the rest. Hang bird feeders and the birds will use the branches to create nests. In a matter of a year, the tree will decay and the branches will become brittle, making it easy for you to break them apart. The more difficult way to create a bird refuge is by chopping the tree trunk into planks to assemble a bird house.
The Christmas holidays are a time where consumption rates go through the roof. Buying gifts for friends and family can take a toll on your savings. Do you really need to spend more on decorations?
Your Christmas tree offers you free ornaments by using the branches to create garlands. Of course, the repurposed decorations can be used for all year long. They are quite easy to make and they have exciting prospects for a natural interior décor. So, if you feel creative, why not harness the full decorative potential of your Christmas tree?!
If you happen to have any water features in your garden (most notably a pond), the Christmas tree can transform into a fish feeder. By sinking the trunk into the water, it can become a great habitat and feeding area for fish.
The food chain of a pond is in essence a cosmos of overwhelming underwater activity, from plankton and insects to forage fish, and a the tree trunk can create a supreme natural habitat for them.
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Another innovative way to reuse the Christmas tree is by cutting the trunk to edge the borders of your garden. You can replace the weather-beaten bricks that edge your flowerbeds with the tree trunk to create a more natural look.
Besides flowerbeds, you can use the trunk to edge pathways in your garden. The ideal size of the trunk pieces to edge the garden will be approximately 2-inch disks. Also, if you have perennial beds or nursery rows, the boughs will be a perfect cover for any seedlings during winter freezes and spring thaws.
As for ponds, the tree trunk will make an amazing addition to create much necessary shallow edges for amphibian life.
Have you ever been to a playground and wondered from where they get the wood to create slides and swings? The answer is “treecycle”. Local tree recycling programs repurpose Christmas trees to be used in parks and woodlands.
There would be probably a leaflet by your local council informing where the collection points will be or you can find ads in local newspapers or online. Of course, you can always contact the local council for more details. You will just need to undress it from the decorations and tinsel, remove it from the stand and take it to the collection point. The rest will be taken care off.
If you've ever wanted a trellis in you back garden brimming from creeping plants then your Christmas tree can be a great alternative. Trellis in general are a great way to save space in your garden by allowing climbing vegetables, fruits and flowers to grow vertically.
To create the tree/trellis, you can cut off the needle twigs and side shoots, leaving it naked with just the branches. You can shorten the branches as you create a structured frame. When spring knocks on the door, plant your fruits, vegetables or flowers on its base and nature will take care of the rest!
Of course, you can also cut down the tree trunk to create a pergola style trellis for your creeping flowers and vegetables, thus adding a rustic vibe to your garden.
Christmas trees can also become composing material… just make sure to remove the trinkets first! Given that the needles and the trunk can take some time to decompose, it will be best if you shred the tree. If you don’t shred it, next Christmas will see you still composting it!
If shredding is difficult for you, there's always the option to take it to your local council where they use industrial composting processes to repurpose trees. The end result will find your tree feeding nutrients to gardens all around the area. Perhaps it will help grow another Christmas tree that will once again decorate your home. A nice circle of life!
By being biodegradable, Christmas trees offer amazing possibilities to be recycled. If you were ever puzzled as to the moral one-off use of a real tree in your Christmas décor, rest assured that once the lights come off, it will find novel ways to return to nature.
Why not take a look at: homify's Garden Ideas of The Year 2016.