What to do With That Christmas Tree

The end of the year is upon us yet again, but there’s one garden related task that many of us have to deal with before we get started on the year ahead- diposing of the Christmas tree.

As great as they look, and smell, real trees can be a bit of a headache after Christmas. As soon as those needles start falling it’s safe to say the tree has outstayed its welcome. The problem is knowing how best to dispose of the tree, sure it might seem like a good idea just to run it up to the tip in the back of the car, but who wants to be picking stray pine needles out from the boot for the rest of the year?

If you’re really lucky your local council will have supplied you with a wheelie bin specifically for garden waste, chances are it’s empty at this time of year, so you shouldn’t have too many problems fitting the tree in.

However if like us you don’t have the luxury of a garden waste bin and want to keep you car in good condition there are a number of other options available:

1. Shred it

If you’re lucky enough to own a garden shredder now is the time for it to shine. Carefully feed the tree into the shredder, chopping it into several smaller pieces first if necessary, and with a bit of luck you should be left with a nice pile of wood chippings. Depending on what model of shredder you own, the resulting wood chips will be vary in size, but either way they can be used as a mulch that breaks down into a natural fertiliser. Simply place the chips around the base of trees and large shrubs and over time the chips will break down and release nutrients into the soil. Note that the larger the wood chips the longer they will take to break down, so if possible try to avoid very large chunks that will decompose too slowly to be of any use to the plan ts throughout the year.

2. Compost it

If you’ve been thinking about starting a compost heap then now is a really good time to do it- the wood chips from a shredded Christmas tree provide the perfect foundation material for other material such as plant waste and vegetable peelings to sit on top of, and of course in time the whole lot will break down into a rich compost for you to use throughout the garden.

3. Let Nature Reclaim it!

If you’re able to stand the tree upright in the corner of the garden and don’t mind the temporary eyesore then you can take satisfaction from knowing that the fallen needles will be used by birds for building nests, and small animals can use the tree for shelter over the remaining winter months.

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