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Post-Holiday Christmas Tree Uses

Pardon the pun, but there are lots of "green" uses for Christmas trees after holiday celebrations are over.  Your Tree can be useful as wildlife habitats, mulch or potpourri.  After carefully looking over the tree to make sure you’ve removed all the lights, tinsel and precious ornaments, consider one of the following options for reusing your Christmas tree.

Put your Christmas tree in your back yard where birds and small animals can use it for shelter.  Add strings of popcorn, cranberries, suet and other treats that birds and small animals like.

Homeowners with private fish ponds may want to consider sinking their tree to make a refuge and feeding area for fish.

Another option is to check whether your local municipality collects Christmas trees and chips them for use in composting piles or as mulch material.  Or, save your tree and chip it yourself in the spring to use for mulch around trees or shrubs. Pine mulch is excellent mulch because the needles and wood chips help acidify the soil and provide a better growing environment for plants.  If you don't want to chip the tree, remove the branches and place them on planting beds. Mulches help keep the ground moist and reduces weed growth. Keep in mind that Christmas Trees easily compost and will eventually provide pure, rich, black soil.

A creative use for Christmas trees is to save the needles to create potpourri. Dry the branches, then remove and crumble the needles. Mix the needles with cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and Christmas scent. Place in jars to store.  To create a pleasant Christmas scent, add one cup of water to one-fourth cup potpourri and heat it on a stovetop or in a potpourri heater. The potpourri makes a great gift for next Christmas.

If you are considering burning your tree, check first with your local municipality to see if it is legal. Never burn the branches in your home fireplace as it can cause the buildup of creosote, a highly flammable compound. Painted, flocked or otherwise treated trees should not be burned because they can affect air quality.