The holidays are over and you are now faced with a couple of decisions. When do I get rid of the Christmas tree and what do I do with it? This of course is an easy decision if the tree is life-like, find the storage container and pack it away for another season. If it’s a fresh cut tree you need to take action soon. Good thing you resolved to be a better pro-active decision maker as a New Year’s resolution. Here are some things to ponder as you wander through your living space considering your next move.
1. I suggest the purchase of a nice foliage houseplant. A Schefflera or Ficus will motivate you to fill the space. It will also clean your indoor air in the next few months as we “plow” through the remaining winter season.
2. Many cities and municipalities offer a drop off site and in some cases pick up for your tree. This is a good choice because they have the equipment to recycle your tree into mulch and compost with heavy equipment. The mulch and compost will be used in parks as path material for hikers and other areas becoming once again one with the earth.
3. Here’s a thought for those of you with a crafty side. The trunk can be cut into discs and converted into coasters and trivets.
4. Branches can be snipped and stored to use for staking plants.
5. Branches can be snipped with foliage as boughs and used as mulch in perennial beds in the landscape.
6. I like to stand up the tree outside in the landscape for January-April. The birds love it as shelter. You can encourage them by adding some suet or a feeder hung somewhere near the tree. Orange slices or strung popcorn is another option in the tree. In spring cut up the tree and add it to the compost pile.
7. Branches can be cut up and used as kindling for your OUTDOOR firepit. Do NOT burn them in a fireplace or wood stove indoors.
8. With permission some people sink them in a pond or lake as a fish habitat. Check first if allowed and seek permission. Make sure the tree is free of any ornaments, hooks, lights or other non-natural decorations.
9. Needles off the tree make a great natural mulch for your landscape, especially for broadleaf evergreen plants like Rhododendron, Azaleas and Holly.
10. Some of the needles can be saved to be used in potpourri and sachets, evergreen scents have that clean purifying effect on our senses when cooped up with the window closed in winter.
Oh Tannen-gone Oh Tannen-gone how lovely are your branches