2016-12-29 / From The Garden

Recycling Christmas Trees

By Cynthia Gibson

The sound that comes to mind telling us the Christmas holiday is over is the song of the vacuum cleaner! Before masses of needles start dropping and finding their way to your carpet, de-robe your tree of garland, tinsel, ornaments, lights or fake snow. If you decide to take it to the curb, Newport will pick up trees Jan. 9-13.

An alternative though, is to recycle the au'natural tree outside. It will make a wonderful nesting area for small birds during the winter.

The tree should be placed against a fence or in an area where it will not blow over in a strong winter wind. Birds love the trees and they act as a bird feeder, too. Suet squares filled with seeds and dried fruit, strings of cranberries, or even popcorn hung from the tree are delicious treats for our feathered friends.

By April or May, when the tree will have dropped its needles and its branches will be dry, it can be easily broken down for removal. If you have a wooded lot, the addition of one more brown Christmas tree will only add to the leaf mold and nature’s compost heap.

If you own a wood-chipper, feed the broken-down tree into the chipper and make your own pine mulch. Since pine is acidic, your hydrangeas and holly trees will love a winter covering of this fresh mulch. By spring, the mulch will have turned to a light brown color and will get darker as it ages.

The one thing you do not want to do with your Christmas tree is cut it and burn it in your fireplace. Trees are filled with water and sticky sap. Burning the fresh pine logs create creosote, which is not good for chimneys.

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