How to Recycle Trees for Your Own Use

How to Recycle Trees for Your Own Use

The holidays are over and you have put away the lights, ornaments, and tinsel until next season. You may live in a community that offers free, curbside Christmas tree pick-up on designated days after the holiday. Your community will chip the trees and put them to use for spring beautification projects or to replenish surfaces in local playgrounds. However, if you do this yourself, it will provide rich mulch for your own vegetable or flower garden. You don’t need a fancy chipper to accomplish this task. Snip a few branches into one to two-inch pieces and use them instead of commercial mulch. This is an easy way to support green living and smells a lot better than traditional mulch that contains fertilizer! 

Other Ways to Repurpose and Recycle Trees

  1. Move the tree to the corner of the yard where you plant your garden. When planting season arrives, break off the larger branches. Each branch provides a nifty DYI trellis, because the pea or green bean vines will cling to and climb up the branches as they grow.
  2. Put the tree in its stand outdoors, where it will provide food and shelter for wild birds. Attract more birds by placing the tree near your regular bird feeder. For a real treat, revisit Christmas and make bird ornaments. Simply cut up thin wood or heavy cardboard, drill a small hole, smear peanut butter and bird seed on them, and hang them on tree branches with sturdy twine.
  3. Cut long branches from the tree and lay them over perennials that are susceptible to ice and frost. Doing this can help prevent the loss of plants from a harsh winter, providing added assurance that you will see lovely blooms next season.
  4. Thin evergreen branches make a great bottom layer for a compost pile. Trim the branches so they fit in your bin, then stack them four to six inches high. The thin branches allow air to flow to the bottom of the pile, which will break the matter down after a period of time. Once you have laid this foundation, you can add kitchen scraps and other compostable matter.


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