Recycle That Christmas Tree

Sad Christmas Tree
Jacob Jarvela


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On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, take down your Christmas tree … then what? Here are ideas from our readers on how to recycle that tree.

  1. If you bought a potted tree, you can plant it outdoors in the spring!
  2. Prop up your old Christmas tree near your bird feeder as a staging area for small birds like chickadees and finches.
  3. Trim the branches from the tree, and saw the trunk into several pieces. Tie the pieces together and store the bundle in the cellar. This will make an aromatic Yule fire in your fireplace next Christmas Eve.
  4. Use the branches from your Christmas tree to mulch perennials and shrubs.
  5. Your Christmas tree makes an ideal bird feeder and haven. String it with your popcorn and cranberry garland or other bird-friendly goodies, and put it in a sheltered location.
  6. Use boughs from your Christmas tree to shade broad-leaved evergreen shrubs and to ward off animals.
  7. Building a house or know someone who is? Nail the tree to the peak of the roof rafters, to bring good luck.
  8. Sew scraps of fabric together and fill them with Christmas tree needles. These make fragrant balsam sachets that can freshen drawers and closets.
  9. Collect trees from several neighbors and line them up along your driveway or sidewalk as a windbreak. Anchor them to cement blocks, and bury the blocks in the snow.
  10. Pile Christmas tree boughs around tree trunks to discourage neighborhood dogs.
  11. Use dried-out sprigs to ignite kindling in your woodstove or fireplace.
  12. Give the tree to a friend or neighbor who has a woodchipper.

​Please share any more ideas below!

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