If you have a real Christmas tree in your home, then you are in luck. There are lots of possibilities for it to have an extended life after the festive period. Here’s some ideas to help you out:
Firstly if your tree has roots, then plant it out. Check the likely height and width it could become, and then choose a place where there is room for it to flourish and grow. In the photo above, the children were so pleased to see the Christmas tree in their outdoor space that before the end of the first day, cones and other natural ornaments adorned its branches once more.
The brashings of Christmas trees make a decorative mulch as shown in the above photo. This was taken in April in Chicago and I thought it was a lovely functional way to use a tree and add different colour and texture to the beds.
The brashings of the trees can benefit wildlife. By leaving them in a pile with other dead material, then this can create a home for a variety of creatures, not least hedgehogs. A variation on this theme is the den in the above photo, from the Rosmarynek permaculture garden in Brno, Czech Republic. Here’s the cuttings and brashings are piled onto a wooden structure to create a den. Above the den, the brashings break down and climbing plants such as raspberries and blackberries are encouraged to grow over it.
Children can use Christmas tree brashings in their play. Dens can be made from the branches which have lost their needles or from fresh cuttings. In the photo below, the den was continuously maintained by the addition of conifer brashings which were lying on the forest floor.
Finally once you have stripped the needles off a tree then it can still be used. It can be moved around by children in their free play activities. Alternatively, hang a variety of items such as objects, numbers and letters onto its branches . It could even be redecorated in different ways!
Whatever you decide to do, make the most of your tree and enjoy its extended potential for learning and play wherever you live. Please suggest other possibilities for re-using Christmas trees – I’m sure there’s many more ideas out there!