After the winter holidays, most of us remove the Christmas ornaments from the tree and take it on a one way ride to the city dump. Well, at least after we work out the will to perform this task, considering that it’s not only difficult to maneuver a larger Christmas tree, but they also tend to leave a trail of pine needles all across the floor of the house and in the car. The following guide will point out 10 practical applications of the seasonal home decoration that has accommodated all those wonderful Christmas presents even after this time of the year has passed.
1. DIY natural mulch for the soil
The reason why the needles of the pine make an excellent mulch for the soil of your garden is twofold. In essence, their propensity of drying rather quickly and decomposing at a very slow rate ensures that the pines constitute the perfect mulch for ground covering plants like strawberries. At the same time, you don’t even have to worry about the development of mold. However, be advised that this solution is not recommended for crops that do not thrive in acidic soils.
2. Christmas trees make an excellent bird sanctuaries
If you enjoy bird watching, then you can utilize the dead pine tree by hanging several bird feeders on its branches. You can also add some live trees in order to create a networked sanctuary and decorate them in an attractive manner. A further suggestion consists of placing cones covered in peanut butter on the branches in order to attract more birds. The only situation when adding more dried needles to the bird sanctuary is highly discouraged is when your residence is located in a dry climate where wildfires are common.
3. Protecting your perennial plants with an additional layer of natural insulation
During the colder season, the perennial plants can suffer heavy damage from frostbites as well as the weight of the snow deposits. The good news is that these issues can be prevented by simply covering their beds with the branches of your pine tree. All you need to do is saw them off the trunk and arrange them on top of the perennial plant beds in the pattern of your choice. Make sure you adjust their size correctly and you can obtain the ideal free and natural insulation layer that also makes it easy to clear the snow without damaging the plant bed.
4. Constructing edges for your flower beds and/or your garden
Another application of the Christmas tree comes from the trunk, which can be cut into discs no thicker than 2 inches in order to create a delimitation for the flower bed and, if it is large enough or when you have several trees at your disposal, the yard. This way you will not only avoid incidentally stepping over the flower bed, but you will also safeguard the plants against insects that keep away from pine/cedar resin.
5. Creating shelters for the local overwintering fish
In the eventuality that your residence is in the vicinity of a still water mass, then the branches of the tree can constitute an excellent protective shelter for the fish population overwintering there. The fish can hide from the cold as well as the predators among the branches, so you are basically ensuring they have a better chance to survive during winter. However, you will need to ensure that the tree was not treated with chemical substances that could negatively influence the composition of the water.
6. Build a décor for your flower pots
No matter how attractive the perennial plants in your flower pots may be, placing them in a line on the table is always going to seem dull. While you could invest in various pot holders, why not utilize sections of the Christmas tree trunk to give them various elevations and construct an exquisite and natural looking setting for them? All you need to do is saw sections of the tree’s trunk with varied thicknesses.
7. Making cottage-style coasters
In the eventuality that you’re not much of a flower lover, then the tree’s trunk could be sectioned into thinner slabs and used as coasters for your glasses and bottles. Nevertheless, these slabs have to be properly sanded and you should also consider applying a coating of polyurethane for a smoother feeling.
8. Fuel for the outdoors fire pits
Both the dried branches and the trunk of the tree constitute a free fuel source for your outdoors fire pit. The branches are particularly good for getting the fire started quickly and without adding gas. However, it is completely inadvisable to utilize them in your indoors fireplace because the burning process tends to eliminate creosols that accumulate in the air of your home.
9. Utilize the branches as supports for climbing plants
If you have considered growing climber perennial plants in your pots but you renounced the idea because you had no stakes for them to develop on, then this is your chance. You will have to strip the boughs from needles and smaller branches of course, but that is a quick and easy procedure. Insert the stakes into the ground and tie the branches of the climbers to them as they start growing upwards. You can do the same with your outdoor flowerbed.
10. Make the tree into compost
Although you will probably need to get some of your friends or neighbors to contribute to the investment, renting a chipper that can transform your dead Christmas tree into compost is another viable suggestion. You can, of course, hire the services of a professional for the job, which is generally recommended if you are not familiar with the nuts and bolts of the chipping process. On a side note, you can inquire as to whether or not your local dump yard has a chipper in the inventory. The compost obtained in this manner is great for shrubs and spreading it underneath them will prevent the development of weeds. In addition to that, the slowly decomposing compost gradually releases nutrients within the soil, making it a better habitat for plants of all kinds.