After Christmas, What Should I Do With My Tree?
It's one of those moments you may face every year if you have a real Christmas tree. You've had the thing in your home for X amount of days. Christmas is over with. Time for you to get rid of your tree. Did you know there's something you can do with it to make it more environmentally sustainable?
A post is making its way around Facebook informing users of a "reusing suggestion" when it comes to their Christmas trees.
Instead of getting rid of your tree by throwing it to the curb, the Nature Conservancy of Canada suggests leaving your old Christmas tree in your backyard!
Dan Kraus, NCC’s senior conservation biologist, says leaving it in your backyard over the winter can provide many benefits for backyard wildlife. Your tree can provide important habitat for bird populations during the winter months, especially on cold nights and during storms.
"Evergreens offer a safe place for birds to rest while they visit your feeder," says Kraus. "Another benefit is that if you leave the tree in your garden over the summer, it will continue to provide habitat for wildlife and improve your soil as it decomposes."
How exactly should you set it up? You can prop it up against another tree, against your fence or even on the ground. You can even have some fun with it. The NCC says you can decorate it with pine cones that are filled with peanut butter, strings of peanuts, suet for the birds to enjoy, and all of these can help the birds find food while looking for their newest home this winter.
When spring rolls around, the tree will basically be looking sad, Charlie Brown tree-esque. From here, you need to do it cut the tree branches and lay them where spring flowers are starting to emerge in your garden and place the trunk on soil, but not on top of the flowers.
Kraus says the tree branches and trunk can provide habitat, shelter wildflowers, hold moisture and help build the soil, mimicking what happens with dead trees and branches in a forest. Toads will seek shelter under the log, and insects, including pollinators such as carpenter bees, will burrow into the wood.
"By fall, the branches and trunk will begin to decompose and turn into soil," says Kraus. "Many of our Christmas trees, particularly spruce and balsam fir, have very low rot resistance and break down quickly when exposed to the elements. The more contact the cut branches and trunk have with the ground, the quicker it will decompose. Drilling holes in the tree trunk will speed up that process.
Wow! Who knew that this would be such a useful source for the environment. Think about doing this after Christmas instead of tossing your tree away.
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