7 Reasons Not to Chuck Your Tree After X-Mas

Don’t junk your tree after the holidays are over. There are lots of ways to salvage part, or all, of a Christmas tree to give it a second life. Bestow an end-of-season gift on the Earth, birds, fish, or even your landscaping with one of these great Christmas tree recycling ideas.

  1. Chip It Up for Mulch

    Wood Chips

    Chop up that tree and feed it to a wood chipper. You'll have excellent mulch to spread around your landscaping or to line your garden paths. Your shredded tree can insulate your plants throughout the winter, help the soil retain moisture, and aid in foiling weeds in the spring.


  2. Insulate Plants

    Pine Needle Mulch

    Cut the boughs off of the tree, and layer them over plants that are susceptible to cold weather and harsh winds. The sheltering limbs will serve as protection throughout the winter and early spring frosts.


  3. Make Wood-Slice Crafts

    Wood Slices

    Wood slices are all the rage, so why not put your tree under the knife to create crosscut slices that you can then use to make coasters, trivets, a wreath, or even ornaments for next year’s tree.

    Related: 12 Simple Woodworking Projects for Christmas


  4. Burn It in Your Fire Pit

    Burning Christmas Tree

    Your Christmas tree is great fuel for an outdoor fire. Cut off the branches to use as kindling, and cut the trunk into logs. Pine is not recommended for burning indoors, as its creosote content makes for sticky, sooty fireplaces. But it’s perfect for keeping you toasty while you’re enjoying winter evenings outside.

    Related: 13 Fire Pits We Love


  5. Make a Home for Fish

    Christmas Tree Fish Habitat

    If you live close to a pond or lake, you can sink your old tree into the water to create a welcoming habitat for fish. The branches give them a place to take cover. Just make sure the tree is completely free of tinsel or flocking material that might harm wildlife.

    ces .ncsu .edu

  6. Feed the Birds

    Wild Bird Feeders

    Believe it or not, your old, dead Christmas tree will make an excellent home for the birds for the rest of the winter. Make sure it’s free of all ornaments and tinsel. Then secure it in your yard in a stand, or with stakes and twine. Provide sustenance for your avian friends as well by decorating the tree with strands of popcorn, suet, or pinecone bird feeders.

    Related:  The 10 Best Bird Feeders for Your Wintertime Yard

    ces.ncsu .edu

  7. Compost It

    Recycle Christmas Tree

    A good compost heap needs both “browns” and “greens,” and a Christmas tree has plenty of both. Any part of your tree that can’t be used elsewhere can be added to your compost. It will break down into rich soil to help feed your garden in the coming year.


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