Indoor trees can still have a purpose once their time has passed. Some of us let certain trees, like Christmas trees, linger in our homes as a reminder of holiday joy, only to later serve as a reminder to get back into reality after the new year. When it’s time to part ways, instead of taking your tree to the road for trash collection, how about recycling it? There are so many unique ways trees can be recycled; you’d be surprised!
1. Turn it into a bird feeder
A tree which has seen its day in your home can be repurposed. One way to do this is to turn it into a bird feeder. To accomplish this, put the tree in a hole in ground, if your ground isn’t frozen. If it is, just place your tree in it’s stand in the yard. You can string popcorn and cranberries on strings and wind them around the tree. If you happen to have a sunflower seed head, just place it on the tree and watch the birds pick the seeds. You will attract chickadees, cardinals, sparrows and even tufted titmice depending on what section of the country you live. It can come to be a spot where birds and even squirrels safely rest for a bit.
2. Make it into mulch
Many city governments have some kind of program for disposing of trees, especially around the holidays; you can call your municipal government or check their website to see if they have such a program. After the trees are collected, they’re often turned into mulch for parks and public gardens.
Or, you could use the pine needles as a way to hold moisture in your gardens. LawnStarter says “if you continuously use pine needles as mulch, they may increase the acidity of your soil,” making the soil more rich overtime for plants that prefer a more acidic soil to thrive in. You can also burn the pine tree branches, which have minerals and soil-enriching nutrients, and easily spread the ashes around in your garden bed when it’s time for planting.
3. Use as a covering
Some perennials are tender, so they could be susceptible to damage from frost heaving or be right on the border of being hardy enough for your zone. This can be bad news for these plants during a harsh winter. If you cut some longer branches off a tree, you can lay them over the perennials to protect them through the rest of the winter.
4. Create or add to your compost pile
The best base for a compost pile is a layer of thin branches. Trim the branches so that they fit nicely in your bin and stack them about four to six inches high; branches that are light will have better airflow, helping them decompose. After they're in the bin, you can start adding items for composting.
5. Make an air freshener
If the tree you're recycling has an earthy scent you love, then make your tree into an air freshener. For the best results, use a pine tree. To do this, strip all the needles off the tree and crush them up. They can be put into sachets or bowls of potpourri for that fresh pine scent. Also, you can use the trunk as an edge for a garden bed after you remove the branches so nothing goes to waste.
6. Use it to help peas grow
In the northern zone of the United States, peas will start growing in vegetable gardens in three months. But, if you stick the branches of a tree - especially a pine tree - in the ground where you plant your peas, the peas will use the branches as supports. Arranging the branches in a criss-cross fashion will enable one branch will help to support the next one. Just tie the branches together where they touch to help stabilize your peas as they grow. Because evergreens have so many little branches on a limb, the pea tendrils will attach themselves easily and climb quickly up the branch. Additionally, if you plant the trunk in an upright position, it's perfect for supporting climbing flowers like morning glories and other vines.
There are many creative ideas for recycling trees, so don't just toss your tree to the curb. Instead, use it to go green in a unique way!
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About the Author
Linda Lee Ruzicka is an avid gardening blogger and expert. In her spare time she can be found enjoying and relaxing in several gardens around her home that she tends.More Content by Linda Lee Ruzicka