What to Do With Your Leftover Christmas Tree
The holiday season has come and gone, but you might find that you’ve been slow to get back into the regular swing of things. Even though New Year’s Day is the unofficial cutoff day for taking down the Christmas decorations, doing so isn’t exactly an easy task, especially if you have a “real” Christmas tree. If you’ve got a Christmas tree hanging around and you’re not sure what to do with it, you have a few options.
What Not to Do
Before getting into what you can do with your leftover Christmas tree, it’s important to know what you shouldn’t do with it. Mainly, you shouldn’t–repeat, should not–keep your Christmas tree stored away for next year. While this is par for the course with “fake” Christmas trees, real ones dry out quickly when not watered, making them a severe fire hazard. That’s certainlyone Christmas surprise you don’t want to have.
Unless your tree still has its roots, there’s absolutely no chance that it’ll be replanted. So, if your tree is going to be destroyed anyway, you might as well make use of its parts as well as you can. If you’ve got a bit of a creative side, you can use bits from the tree to get ready for next season’s holidays. Cut off thin slices from the tree trunk to make circular wood slice ornaments and coasters. You can use the leftover sprigs and needles to spruce up clear glass ornaments or even make your own pine-needle-infused artwork to hang up at home.
Use the Pine Needles for Natural, Homemade Products
You don’t need to spend top dollar to get that fresh, piney smell in your cleaning products. Use the leftover pine needles on your Christmas tree as a source for your own soaps and cleaners. It’s quite easy to make pine oil: simply clean the pines, let dry, soak in oil for a few weeks, and strain. The resulting oil can be added to homemade cleaners and soaps to give your home a brighter scent. Some say that you can even use pine needles for homemade tea or as an herb in foods, though you’ll want to be absolutely sure your tree wasn’t treated with chemicals before you bought it.
Again, you might be tempted to simply ditch your tree on the side of the road, but keep in mind that depending on where you leave it, it might not get picked up for weeks, or even at all. More than likely, you can take it over to your local recycling center, although you might need to pay a fee if you want it picked up from your home. Before you send your tree to be recycled, though, you might be able to put it to better use. For instance, you could list your old tree online for those looking for firewood. Or, a local greenhouse might find use in it as mulch for their plants.
While getting rid of your Christmas tree can seem a bit of a hassle, remember that it’s often the more environmentally-friendly option over buying an artificial tree. Plus, there’s just something about having a real tree that makes the holidays a little more special. Now, with these ideas for what to do with your leftovers, you’ll have even more reason to go with a real tree again next season.