7 Simple — And Green — Ways To Repurpose Your Evergreen Christmas Tree
It’s been just delightful, hasn’t it? Picking out the perfect Christmas tree. Decorating it with new and heirloom ornaments. Stringing the lights (well, maybe that wasn’t so delightful…the detangling was absolutely maddening). And taking in the fresh pine smell, so clean and rustic and winter wonderland-y.
But then the browning starts. The slow drip of dead pine needles dropping to the floor. And the word “pretty” is pushed aside by the presence of “crunchy.” So what to do when it’s time to say goodbye to your cherished Christmas tree? Read on for some simple and green ideas for repurposing your evergreen.
1. Provide Habitat and Resources for Wild Animals
Put your old tree outside to create a natural habitat for birds, squirrels, and other wildlife. Hang a birdfeeder from a branch or two and you’ll attract winter birds like cardinals and blue jays.
2. Donate Your Tree
Check into donating your tree to the Department of Natural Resources. The DNR sometimes sinks old trees into bodies of water to create a fish habitat, which has been done with great success.
3. Use Pine Needles as Garden Mulch
Pine needs to make great garden mulch as they decompose slowly to acidify the soil, making an ideal mix for acid-loving plants like hydrangeas, ferns, azaleas, and dogwoods.
4. Cut Trunk Discs for Natural Edging
Use cut-up trunk discs to create natural edging and borders in your yard or garden.
5. Make DIY Potpourri
Upcycle the branches from your evergreen tree to make a wonderfully aromatic potpourri. With just a couple of branches, cinnamon sticks, and essential oils, you can keep the scent of the holiday season around long after you’ve turned the page on your calendar.
6. Make Crafting Supplies
Tree trunk rounds make great coasters that you can decorate for seasonal use, outdoor gatherings, or rustic-themed parties. If you’re looking to branch out into making a few extra dollars, consider selling your tree discs on sites like eBay or Etsy, where you’ll find a market for recycled wood.
7. Help fortify dunes in shore towns
Conservationists look to preserve beaches and coastline by using old Christmas trees to build up sand dunes. The needled branches help catch sand from blowing winds, allowing more of it remain on the beach instead of blowing off. Check with local authorities to see if this type of program is available in your area.