The holiday season is upon us, and depending on your family traditions, there may be a Christmas tree gracing your home this month, a tradition going back hundreds of years.
Some trees will be artificial, but many will be natural, freshly cut from a tree farm or purchased from the local nursery or seasonal stand. We all love the look and scent this decoration adds to our seasonal joy, but we often neglect to continue the life of this holiday centerpiece once we get past all the festivities.
The Arbor Day Foundation has some wonderful suggestions to get the best use out of your old Christmas tree. Some are familiar, like using the tree for mulch or firewood (for the outdoor firepit), or setting it aside in your yard to create a wildlife habitat for birds. Additional suggestions are to use the burned wood ash as fertilizer/compost, use the old boughs to insulate your garden over the winter, or make wood coasters, wood ornaments and decorations out of the trunk. A less well-known option is to use it for an underwater fish habitat by dropping your old tree into a pond or stream (with appropriate permission, of course!) to create a fish habitat that will offer protection and eventually, food in the form of algae. There are many options to get full use out of your tree while benefiting our ecosystem - see what works for you!
As your tree gave you and your family a wonderful Christmas, why not repurpose or recycle it so it can continue to give in a meaningful way well after the holiday is done and gone.