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Recycling Christmas Trees

For the Birds ~ More Options

After selecting, decorating and enjoying a fresh-cut Christmas tree it is time to consider how to recycle the tree following the holiday season. Many communities have recycling programs — some offering curbside pickup — and will convert the tree into mulch.

Another possibility, for those on or near an acreage, is to convert the tree into fish habitat. Sunk into private fishing ponds or lakes, Christmas trees make excellent refuge and feeding areas for fish.

Extension wildlife specialists suggest anchoring the tree in a large coffee can with concrete first. The concrete weights the tree down so it stands upright. This natural fish attractor will draw bream and bass and offer a safe haven for young fish. For safety's sake, drop the tree well away from swimming areas. 

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For the Birds

Holiday trees may also become a winter bird feeder and shelter. Add some orange slices, bread and suet to attract birds and brighten up your winter landscape.

A decomposing Christmas tree will provide valuable food for insects and worms, as well as a good hiding place for birds and other creatures. Untidy, perhaps, but the evergreen thicket is a welcome habitat for little birds like cardinals and white-throated sparrows.

More Recycling Options

Clip off branch tips and needles for sachets and potpourri.

Whittle a walking stick.

Create a coat rack. Cut all the branches off except for a few at the top, those should be trimmed 3 inches to 4 inches from the trunk.

Build a bottle tree. Cut all the branches about a foot from the trunk and put empty wine bottles on them.

Craft a longbow.

Make a trellis. Trim the branches off and sink the trunk in the ground and use it as a trellis for a climbing plant like a morning glory or clematis.

Create kindling. Chop up the smaller branches and make kindling for winter fires.

Christmas tree branches and the trunk can also be chipped and turned into valuable mulch for landscape and garden plants.

Sources: University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

 
Nordic Elf Skier with Tree
Nordic Elf Skier with Tree


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