6 Ways to Reuse Your Christmas Tree
Once the main spectacle of the festive season is finished and the turkey and booze are running low, there’s always one issue left to solve – what to do with your Christmas tree.
Most of us spend the latter days of December/early January awkwardly dragging a huge green shrub out of the house, dropping endless amounts of pine along the floor, all in a compounding realisation that Christmas is over for another year.
Fear not however, we’ve compiled a handy list of ways you can re-use your tree and keep the festive spirit going longer than December the 26th.
6.) Make Mulch
Those pesky shredding needles can be put into use by throwing them onto plants for mulching and your tree can even be made into compost if you have the necessary tools for doing so.
Not everybody has easy access to a wood chipper to make mulch to line the garden or paths with, so contact your local landscaping company who are usually happy to mulch your tree for a small fee.
5.) Give back to Nature
The tree that spectacularly donned itself in your front room for a few weeks was once part of a natural forest habitat, so perhaps it’s time to give something back!
During the winter, animals need shelter to keep warm, hide from predators and store food, so the Christmas tree is the perfect way to help out Mother Nature.
You can do your bit by either leaving the full tree out in your garden in its stand for birds (possibly leaving them some sort of feed), or chopping off a branch or two to dispose of in a local pond to give fish sheltered habitat. Make sure you have permission, however, before dumping large pieces of branches anywhere that isn’t your property.
Not the most exciting or imaginative way of using your tree, but it’s important to know where to go if you wish to be eco-friendly this Christmas.
If you've not already been contacted - a small bit of research on the internet should help you discover which local companies do tree collections around your area and what days they come.
You can also take it to your nearest home depot or gardening warehouse, where they're usually happy to take it off your hands. Just remember to remove any tinsel, chocolate or decorations that could interfere in the recycling process.
Arts & Crafts form a large part of the Christmas trade, so why not contribute your bit and turn your tree into something still worth looking at?
If you have the correct tools and know-how, your tree can be made into a stool, tea light holder or even a tree stump wall clock (DIY clock kits can be bought for around £30)!
Feel free to even cut up pieces of branch and sand them down in order to create a canvas for new Christmas tree decorations for next year.
2.) Chop into Firewood
When a Christmas tree reaches the end of its life, it carries minimal moisture to supress flames, so take advantage of its infamously flammable wood.
Once your tree has been cut into manageable pieces, use the trunk or branches to kindle into a woodstove, firepit or fireplace to get a lovely warm flame going.
However, if your tree is sappy and carrying some moisture, you run the risk of creosote buildup. It needs to be completely dry before being used in indoor fireplaces and woodstoves or you risk being overwhelmed by the smoke.
One of the best ways of burning your tree is to also create a huge bonfire in your own space. It’s a great way to gather friends and family for one more festive get-together.
Light the fire in a clear, open area on a day with minimal wind and don't keep flammable objects nearby. Make sure to keep close supervision around the tree closely as it burns, children find will find the big fire fascinating.
1.) Eat it!
Yes you can really eat your Christmas tree! (Not whole, obviously).
The pine needles give a fantastic festive flavour and aroma to many different edible treats that are simple and easy to make.
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From delicious Douglas Fir & Orange Blossom butter cookies, a cheeky Douglas Fir Sparkletini or even Andy Hamilton’s Spruce brew infused with spruce needles, there are endless recipes and ideas to give some treats a festive spin.
Chef, René Redzepi, believes that we should use our Christmas trees in cooking -
“Nature takes enormous time and effort to produce something that we use only briefly. Why don’t we make greater use of this living tree, as we make use of so many other kinds of plants on earth, by eating it?”
We couldn’t agree more!
What do you do with your Christmas tree once it’s had its display? Do you do anything unusual with it? Tweet us at @IntlTimber - we’d love to hear from you!
While we don’t stock Christmas trees, don't miss out on our diverse range of other wood this winter
For any of timber-related enquires, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Image used courtesy of Ambuj Saxena on Flickr.