Five Ideas How to Put Your Old Christmas Tree to Use
All Christmas trees have their day eventually, but that doesn’t mean old Xmas trees are destined for landfill, as there are lots of great ways to reuse both natural and artificial Xmas trees in creative ways.
Here’s our pick of five of the best ways to put your old Christmas tree to use once its needles have started to drop, or when you decide to replace your old artificial Christmas tree.
1. Make New Decorations
This is an especially good option for artificial Christmas trees, as they can’t be composted or turned into mulch. Instead, cut off the branches and use them to make new decorations for next year.
You can buy wire and foam wreath frames and attach small segments of artificial Christmas tree branches, as well as other decorations like holly leaves and artificial poinsettia blooms to add some colour.
2. Feed the Birds
Both real and artificial Xmas trees can be repurposed as birdfeeders and animal habitats, which is a great idea if you have young children in the house.
Hang leftover fruit or pinecones smeared with peanut butter from the tree branches, or make small feeding bowls from halved orange skins or coconut shells, and you’ll soon have a fleet of feathered friends visiting your former Christmas tree on a daily basis.
3. Can You Compost a Christmas Tree?
Composting is one way to get rid of smaller parts of a real Christmas tree, such as quantities of pine needles. These are quite slow to decompose, so only use small amounts and make sure they are well mixed into your compost heap.
The woody parts of a Christmas tree will not work for composting, but once stripped of the needles, these can be used as decorative logs or growing stakes in other parts of your garden, or laid in a quiet corner to create a habitat for hedgehogs.
4. How to Recycle a Christmas Tree
Although it’s the obvious option, recycling a real Christmas tree is also one of the best ways to get rid of it while helping the environment. Your local council might offer Christmas tree recycling in a nearby park in early January, with your mulched tree used on the park’s flowerbeds.
If you have a patio log burner, you can of course burn your tree and enjoy the fragrant festive smoke it produces. Cut the trunk and branches into firewood logs and make sure they are well dried before adding them to your log pile for the remaining weeks of winter.
5. How to Replant a Christmas Tree
Believe it or not, real Christmas trees have the potential to take root if you replant them. Your tree must be in good condition – ideally it should have been in your house for less than ten days, with the root ball kept well watered throughout.
Any tree that looks in good shape is worth a try though. Dig out a good-sized hole, plant the tree in it and fill in. Winter is a dormant season so you can wait until spring before you start fertilising the soil and, with luck, your tree might put down roots in its new spot.
Five More Ways to Use Old Christmas Trees
As well as the ideas above, you can also reuse some or all of natural/real Xmas trees in the following ways:
- Collect the needles and sprinkle them over muddy garden paths for better grip.
- Donate old Xmas trees to a local zoo as toys for lions or even as food for elephants.
- Remove the individual branches and use them as canes/stakes around your garden.
- Drill shallow circles out of slices of Xmas tree trunk to make tealight candle holders.
- Place pine needles with some cloves, cinnamon sticks and other fragrant ingredients in a bowl of water to create natural pot pourri.
The best solutions are creative, eco-friendly and don’t create more waste, so whether you have a real Christmas tree or an old artificial Christmas tree you want to replace, let your imagination take over and you’re bound to find a fun way to reuse it.