Here’s to hoping you made it through the holidays with your sanity intact! Now that Yuletide is behind us, we’re going to offer some tips on the thankless job of getting rid of your Christmas tree. You don’t have to just throw it on the curb or try to stuff it into a dumpster. There are multiple ways to put your beautiful tree to good use. Read on to dispose of your tree without clogging up the landfill!
1. Turn it into mulch
Chopping up the branches of your tree is a great way to protect plants. Mulch acts like a blanket that will shelter your garden; especially plants that are less hardy this time of year. It will also safeguard your greenery when that late spring frost inevitably hits.
2. Make a birdfeeder:
You can strategically place your tree (in its stand) in your yard to make a natural bird refuge. Put it near a birdfeeder, or hang birdseed from the tree to offer some shelter to wild birds during the cold season. Just make sure to avoid feeding them these foods.
3. Give it to a nonprofit:
Boy Scouts and other nonprofit groups will often pick up your tree for a small donation (usually $5-$10). Chances are there are a good amount of drop-off locations in your area as well. Now you’re keeping the spirit of Christmas alive even past the holiday!
4. Throw it in the lake:
With permission, of course. Trees can act as a barrier to soil erosion, and also make great habitats for aquatic life. Make sure to call your local Department of Natural Resources to make sure it’s OK, but this is an excellent way to dispose of your tree while helping the environment.
If your tree’s roots are intact, you can replant it in your yard. You’ll need to do it as soon as possible after Christmas, but dig a hole and use a bucket filled with potting soil, sawdust or other mulch to keep your tree alive and well. You’ll also want to make sure you’re giving it plenty of water.
6. Make firewood:
Cut up the trunk of your tree and throw it in your fireplace! Saw the trunk into logs, but don’t use the branches. They tend to shoot off sparks, and this is winter, not the 4th of July.
7. Make compost:
Many municipalities have places that will chop your tree into wood chips or compost. Said chips/compost will then have many uses. Recreation areas, parks, hiking trails and even school playgrounds use wood chips, and gardeners will often be able to get compost for their own beautiful landscapes.
8. If it’s artificial:
Try to use it for as long as possible, but if your artificial tree has overstayed its welcome, be sure to recycle. Your normal recycling bin will often be OK for a few weeks into January, but you might want to call your disposal service. If your fake tree has a metal trunk, that can be brought to the recycling plant and be used as scrap metal.
The main thing here is to not clog up the landfill with perfectly good organic material. There are plenty of good uses for old Christmas trees, and you can get creative. If you’re a woodworker, for example, use your tree to make next year’s gift! Please let us know if you have any tree disposal ideas in the comments. Hopefully you had a great holiday, and we’ll see you again in 2018!