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May 26, 2017

What should I do with my Christmas tree after Christmas?

Discover 3 alternative uses for your old Christmas tree.

do-not-burnFirst of all, let me start with a friendly note: DO NOT BURN your old Christmas tree INSIDE! This is dangerous as the wood will burn very quickly and spit. The sap found in Christmas trees that will release toxins into the air and can release other chemicals that will clog up your chimney! If you really must burn your old Christmas tree, please do so outside and away from dwellings. Please check local bylaws regarding burning items; even on your own property.

Now that is out of the way(!), let’s have a look at three alternative uses for your old Christmas tree, rather than simply taking your old Christmas tree to the skip, or chopping it up to fit in your bin.

 

1) Use the needles from your old Christmas tree for scentpine-needle-pot-pourri

  • Pot pourri: add the needles to your existing pot pourri for an interesting colour and scent addition
  • Scent bags: a bit like you might hang a lavender bag in your wardrobe, put a hand-full of needles into a small calico bag (or an old, clean sock) and hang from a hanger. If the pine scent isn’t to your liking, try adding an essential oil to the needles.
  • Extract the oil: this is something I haven’t tried, but this recipe for How to Extract Essential Pine Tree Oil looks good. You could use the oil to fragrance a scent bag, pot pourri, or to add to your own homemade soap!

 

2) Make a bird feeder from your old Christmas tree

Take a strong branch and hang from your bird feeder. Some birds will enjoy feeding on the needles, while others will simply spend time standing on them. Bird tables can look a little dull at times; if nothing else just use the branches for natural decoration! If you have stronger branches then you could hang fat balls from them. The Cottage Smallholder has a very simple instruction guide for making your own fat balls. They claim to be able to buy large sacks of bird feed for £10; please do share if you know of a source at this price!!

 

3) Use branches from your old Christmas tree as a plant support

Bamboo canes might start at around 7p each for a 3foot cane, but they soon add up when you need a lot! Make the most of your old Christmas tree. Yes, it will be a bit of work but hey! Start with the strongest looking branches and strip the down so just one length is left. Use the longer stronger stems to help support your runner beans, and the more flexible ones could help create a sculpture for your sweet peas. The possibilities are endless. Let us know if you have any other suggestions!

 

4) OK, I did say 3 alternative uses for your old Christmas tree, but I’ve thought of another one! Branches from your old Christmas tree can be great protection from birds.

For branches that don’t make the grade for plant support, why not strip the needles and use them to protect your seedlings?!

 

If you are planning on using any of these suggestions, please do consider the origin of your Christmas tree. If your old Christmas tree will come into contact with humans, animals, or food crops, then here at GoTo4Gardening we recommend only using Christmas trees that have been grown organically or are FSC-certified.

 

Here at GoTo4Gardening we are always excited to hear of new and inventive gardening solutions. Have you used any of these methods before? Are you inspired by one of these alternative uses for your old Christmas tree? Do you have any other suggestions?? Please let us know in the comment section below!

 

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