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Environmentally Friendly Ways To Recycle Your Christmas Tree 

Posted by Filipe Benavides on 12/28/2016

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Real Christmas trees are beautiful, especially the ones available at Moon Valley Nurseries Christmas Tree Lots. The aroma, the perky needles, the greenery – these are just some of the things we love about real Christmas trees. After all, real trees aren’t some fake plastic tree imported from China, processed and manufactured with a bunch of synthetic materials that are harmful to our environment. No, real Christmas trees are biodegradable, so they can be easily reused and recycled for mulch and other purposes. 

By the time the New Year rolls around, you can tell it’s a good time to recycle that real tree. Once its lifespan has run its course, you’re left with a corpse of a tree that needs to be disposed of before it starts to rot, stink and leave a mess of needles all over your floor. Of course, there are many ways to recycle your Christmas tree, and doing it in an environment-friendly manner is the best option for both you and the environment. Don’t be that person that tosses the old tree into the trash bin leaving an unsightly mess and angering your neighbors. There are plenty of options for recycling your tree and feeling good about your environment-friendly action, all the while taking care of one of your New Year’s Resolutions - doing your part in helping to care for our environment.

Mulch
Real Christmas trees are biodegradable. Perhaps you or one of your neighbors owns a chipper (or rent one) - this is the best DIY mulching option. Remove the branches and place them in the chipper for fantastic mulch to use in your landscape. Homemade mulch can last up to two years! When you add in the essential micro and macro nutrients and specialized blends that make up our Moon Valley fertilizer products, your plants will thrive all year long. Mulch is also great for suppressing weeds!

Create a Bird Feeder
Stick a whole Christmas tree into the ground or leave it in a stand for an excellent backyard bird feeder. The entire family will get a kick out of this natural bird sanctuary. Add popcorn strings, stale bread, cranberries and other assorted goodies and watch as a variety of birds such as Chickadees and Song Sparrows come for the food and hang around for the shelter. Within a year, the branches will become brittle so you can easily break the tree apart by hand and get ready to repeat the process once again.

Fish Feeders
Bird’s aren’t the only wildlife that benefit from environment-friendly tree recycling – fish can too. Homeowners with private fish ponds can sink a tree into the pond, creating a terrific refuge and feeding area for fish. It’s a good idea to attach a heavy weight to the tree to keep it sunk. Be sure to remove any decorations and the stand! Happy fish, happy planet.

Soil Erosion Barriers
People living in coastal communities and near lakes and rivers can recycle Christmas trees for use as an effective sand and soil erosion barrier. Recycled trees are excellent for shoreline stabilization and managing river delta sedimentation. Christmas trees can also be used to trap soil and organic debris from a gorge where the water is carrying away soil. Simply attach a stake to your tree in the waters path!

Get Creative!
You can always get creative with a dead Christmas tree. Woodworking hobbyists can make coasters by cutting thin slabs off the trunk. Sand them down into a smooth finish and apply a thin coat of polyurethane to keep the sap off tables and glassware. We’ve seen tree trunks made into candlesticks and even birdhouses. You can also cut off all the branches and use the trunk to edge a garden. A strategically placed trunk can become a resting spot for birds and other small wildlife.

Curbside Collection Programs
This is probably the easiest option for most and surprisingly environment-friendly. Your city may have a curbside pickup option that will turn your tree into usable mulch for use in city parks, etc. This way you don’t need to lug an old tree around town, burning gas, to take it to the nearest drop-off recycling center. Just be sure to remove any old ornaments, tinsel, lights, stands and check for any size requirements. Find your local hauler. Typically, the providers will collect trees during regular pickup schedules on the two weeks after Christmas. If your local hauler is Waste Management Inc. (WM) click here to find your local service provider.

In certain areas with tree recycling/mulching programs, they’ll not only recycle the old tree, they’ll turn it into a bag of mulch you can use in your landscape. This mulch can be used to enrich or insulate the soil, helping plants grow better, and creating an attractive landscape cover that can help retain moisture in hedges and around the bases of trees. Use this mulch in combination with Moon Valley Nurseries fertilizer products and watch as your landscape explodes with healthy-looking growth!

Note: Never burn your Christmas tree in an indoor fireplace or wood stove.

Moon Valley Nurseries is your one stop shop for all your landscape needs. Our experts have decades worth of experience and they will be able to assist you with any projects or questions you may have. Remember to change your watering schedule as we enter the winter and be sure to map a Moon Valley Nurseries location right here.

Topics: Christmas Trees