Christmas trees are truly the sign that ‘tis the season. Picking out the right tree, setting it up in your home, and decorating it can be so much fun. But what do you do with the tree once the holidays are over and it’s starting to look a little bit sad? Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
1. Take it to a tree-cycler
Many tree farms will actually take their old trees back and recycle them. They mulch the trees into a fine pulp and then use it to enrich the soil where future Christmas trees are planted. Call your local tree farm to see if there are any treecycling programs near you that you can take advantage of!
2. Mulch the needles
Pine needles actually serve as a pretty excellent mulch. They are mold-resistant and biodegrade slowly, making them ideal for keeping soil damp for your plants. But wait, what do you do with the rest of the tree? Well, another option would be to…
3. Keep it for firewood
If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, your old Christmas tree could eventually help you keep your house warm. It does take a little while for the wood to dry out (the rule of thumb is 1 year for every inch of trunk thickness), but if you keep your tree in a warm, dry place (like a garage, for example) it’ll dry out and you’ll be able to use it for firewood!
4. Donate to conservation groups
Local conservation groups can make good use of your old Christmas trees for their conservation programs. Many will use the old trees as habitat for vulnerable species. Others will throw the trees into ponds and lakes to create a habitat for fish to live in.
5. Host a chipper party
If the above options have failed, no conservation groups will take it, you don’t need the firewood, and there are no local treecyclers, another option is to simply rent a wood chipper and mulch the tree yourself. They can be a little pricey to rent, so host a chipper party! Invite friends and neighbors over to chip their trees (for a small fee to help cover the cost of the chipper). At the end of the party, everyone goes home with some wood chips for their gardens!