06/01/2014

What to do with your old Christmas tree

Christmas is over and the decorations have been taken down, yet one problem still remains – what to do with your old Christmas tree?

Many of us will simply take your old tree to the council run tip and dispose of it that way. The down side of this being that many of the needles from the tree will end up in the boot of your car, and you will spend the rest of the day vacuuming it to still find more the following day. 

The other option is you place your Christmas tree in your garden waste bin, which the local council collects on a regular basis. This will then be recycled or taken to landfill dependent on which council you use. For some this may not be an option as the council may not offer this service, or you have to have already subscribed to this service previously in the year. 

There are a number of other options, many of which have tremendous benefits for your garden. 

1. Create fertiliser. Using your garden shredder chip your old Christmas tree and add the chippings to the base of any trees and shrubs. These chippings will break down into the soil over time and act as a great natural fertiliser when it breaks down.

It will also help prevent weeds and other unwanted plants growing where you don't want them to. It is worth noting that the smaller the chippings the quicker the material will break down. If your garden shredder has variable chip sizes, try to avoid shredding the Christmas tree into anything over 3cm thick, as this may decompose too slowly and prevent sufficient light and air reaching the soil.

2. Create a compost heap. Christmas trees are a brilliant plant to start a compost bin off. Simply add the tree to the bottom of your compost bin leaving some space for the air to circulate and it will break down over time. Add other organic material like vegetable peel etc. to help the process further.

3. Shelter. Another option available for your old Christmas tree is to use it as cover for your plants during the winter. By laying the tree in front of delicate plants in the winter it will protect them from frost and any heavy wind and snow reducing the damage the weather may cause.

4. Attract wildlife. The last option available is to leave the tree in the corner of your garden. The local wildlife will then use this as a source of shelter during cold periods, and birds will use any fallen twigs and branches as material for their nests.

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