New Uses for your Christmas Spruces
Each year there are around 25-30 million fresh cut trees being purchased for the holidays, creating a lot of waste to be disposed of. Fortunately, there’s no need to get the winter blues since there are various ways to spruce up your life and make use of the trees after you take down your decorations!
Pine needles dry quickly and decompose slowly making them excellent moisture and mold-free mulch. Strip away the needles on the branches and sprinkle them in your yard! You could also rent a wood chipper to get even better results! It might be a bit pricey to rent a wood chipper, if you don’t already have one, so you could get a couple of your neighbors together and split the cost, that way everyone could use it!
Cut off main branches and lay them over your yard. During the winter your plants can be severely damaged by frost heaving- an expansion of the underlying soil, which alters the nutrient composition. Laying the branches over your yard will give your spring plants a warm blanket!
You can use the trunk for firewood but first saw off the branches before adding the wood to your fire. Pine needles have creosote, a harmful chemical to inhale, so make sure if you use the tree for firewood to get rid of the branches. What you can do with the branches is strip them of needles and use as a stake for your indoor plants, to help those leggy seedlings.
Edging and Plant Growth
Saw the trunk into 2-inch discs and place the discs along your plant beds or at the edge of your garden. This will not only look aesthetically pleasing, but it will help plant rising, for a beautiful display in the spring!
Cut the trunk into a desired length, either for making coasters or pot holders, sand the pieces down and coat with polyurethane (this keeps the sap from leaking). In addition, you can use pine needles and some fabric to make some fragrant potpourri. All you need to do is strip away the needles, place in a small piece of fabric, add some other dry scents (cinnamon sticks, orange peels, rosemary, etc.) and tie it all together with some string!
You can also take your trees to recycling centers, there may be certain restrictions, so look and see if your nearby center accepts trees!
There are many ways to use your trees after the holidays…talk about being green!