New Uses for Your Spruces: Creative Reuse for your Christmas Tree

By Kevin Pink, Marketing and Development Specialist 

The holidays have come and gone, and with 25-30 million fresh-cut Christmas trees being purchased in the United States every year, there are soon to be a lot of spruces and firs that need to be disposed of. We’ve got some helpful hints about ways you can put your tannenbaum to good use once you’ve taken the lights and decorations off. 

Create an animal shelter.

If you don’t have your own pond, your tree makes a great shelter for land animals as well! You can also coat some branches in peanut butter or margarine to give animals a little snack along with their shelter. Squirrels, birds, rabbits and others will all appreciate a safe, warm place to ride out the winter!
Create a fish habitat.

Secure your tree to a cinder block or other
heavy weight and drop it into a pond (on your own property, please, or through a special treecycling program). This makes a habitat for a variety of animals, including small insects that will be eaten by small fish. It also gives the small fish a place to hide from bigger fish.


Mulch party!

Get your neighbors who also need to dispose of trees together and rent a wood chipper to chop up your trees. The resulting wood chips can be used as mulch to help your plants grow in the spring!

Bough Blankets.

Speaking of plants, putting boughs from your tree down over the soil in which your perennials are planted is a great way to insulate them from winter’s coldest weather. Give your spring plants a warm blanket.

Get Crafty.

You can cut the trunk to make coasters for glasses and trivets for hot pots. Use a coating of polyurethane to keep sap from leaking. You can also use cut pieces of the trunk in landscaping, such as lining garden beds. In addition, you can use needles and some fabric to make some fragrant potpourri, as our Fellows Aliza and Chiara recently demonstrated on Mass Appeal!

You can also compost your tree. It may take some time to begin breaking down, so it is helpful to break it up into smaller pieces to help it break down faster. 

Use these tips to keep getting use out of your tree long after the holidays- talk about going green!

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