Nothing compares to the smell of a fresh cut pine tree during Christmas. The aroma alone can bring back wonderful childhood memories you've shared with your family - picking out the tree, decorating its branches, and waking up all excited on Christmas morning to find beautifully wrapped gifts underneath it.
Christmas just wouldn't feel the same without a fresh-cut tree. But after the last gift has been unwrapped, and the guests have all gone home, your tree's needles will be falling, hinting that it's time to take the tree down.
Whatever you do, don't just toss it on the street for a dump truck to haul it away. Want to know what your options are? Then
- Use your tree as a backyard feeder or shelter. Hang peanut butter pine cone feeders, strands of popcorn or cranberries, fruit slices, suet bags, or seed cakes on the branches.
- Cut off the branches and place them over perennials to use as winter mulch. In the summer, you can use the trunk as a bean pole in your garden for growing string beans and sugar snap peas.
- Or if you have a fireplace, you can use THIS year's tree to start NEXT year's fire.
- Or you can have your tree made into mulch to put around trees, shrubs, and flower beds in your yard.
- If you can't use the tree yourself, contact your local Public Works Department or sanitation service - most communities have some type of Christmas tree disposal program. There might be a certain day that trees are collected on the curbside, or you may have to bring it to a collection site to be recycled.
Do whatever works for you, but make sure you do something besides throwing it out. You want the tree's nutrients to find their way back into the Earth - that way they can be used to grow and support new life for us.