So the holidays are over! You’re ready for a fresh start in the new year, and that fresh start…does not include the mostly dead fir tree in your living room. But ousting a large tree from your home is no easy task. Here are 8 ways to dispose of – or give new life to – your festive foliage after the holiday season has passed.
If you just want to get rid of your Christmas tree quickly and with minimal effort, your best bet is a removal service. There are many removal services throughout the U.S., like LoadUp, that will pick up your tree directly from your home and dispose of it safely. The advantage of this strategy is there is virtually no work involved – all you’ll have to do is move your Christmas tree out to your driveway!
One common way to repurpose your tree is to turn it into firewood. This is a particularly good option if you have your own outdoor fire pit. If you do decide to go this route, it’s important to make sure that you do it safely. (Read: please NOT indoors!)
A chemical commonly added to Christmas trees – creosote – burns extremely hot, meaning you should never burn any part of your Christmas tree indoors. If burned in a home fireplace or wood stove, sparks from a tree containing creosote can fly rapidly and large billows of smoke can pour through your home at a moment’s notice.
Another excellent way to get rid of your old Christmas tree is to turn it into mulch. Both the pine needles and wood chips are very effective materials for mulch. The nutrients from the tree will help keep your soil healthy, and since the needles take a long time to break down, they’ll also serve as a layer of protection for your soil as the seasons change.
If you like to compost, the wood and needles from your Christmas tree can actually serve as a very effective base! All of the features that make Christmas trees great for mulch also make them work well for composting. Since pine needles don’t decompose quickly, they can help minimize mold in your compost bin. For the most effective layer of compost, cut your tree’s branches down into small pieces that will allow for some airflow.
One of the reasons many people prefer real Christmas trees to artificial ones is the pleasant pine smell. You can keep this smell fresh in your house all year long by using your old tree to make pine sachets. In order for this to work, the needles will need to still be green when you make the sachets. You can get bags specifically designed for this purpose through Amazon or other online retailers.
There are many ways you can use your old Christmas tree to enhance your garden. Here in the northern hemisphere, there’s still a good long bout of chill to deal with when the Christmas holiday passes, and your garden beds will need protection! Your old tree can be repurposed to shelter your existing plants. Simply cut the branches off where they meet the trunk, and then lay them over your perennial plants. Voila! Safety from winter winds, frosts, and other uncomfortable conditions.
If you’re feeling artsy, there are many great crafts you can make with an old Christmas tree! Not only are these fun projects you can do with your family, but they also result in decor items you can use around the house. Popular options are turning your tree into coasters, hanging lamps, or wall art, but don’t let those options stop you – the world is your oyster! These lists from Garden Therapy and Empress of Dirt offer plenty of great ideas.
If you prefer to source your natural or reclaimed wood crafts from elsewhere, we’ve got you there, too! 😉
Did you know that old trees are great for fish habitats? Over time, algae forms on the wood in water, which serves as an excellent source of food for the fish and gives them a safe place to rest. Check to see if there are any local bodies of water where you can safely and legally (!) put your tree after Christmas.