|Bottle Tree photo by Carol King|
If you used a cut tree for your Christmas tree, chances are you are now trying to deal with disposal! There’s always the landfill of course; most trash companies pick them up without a thought. However, there are several options for your tree other than the landfill.
- Recycle your tree. Most municipalities in the Denver area have recycling available. Contact your own city or county; many use chippers to convert trees to landscape or garden mulch. Never burn your Christmas tree in the fireplace (the pitch content in the bark and needles can cause them to burst into flames from the intense heat).
- Do something whimsical: right after Christmas, move the tree outside and decorate it with popcorn, fresh cranberries, peanuts in the shell, pine cones with suet and birdseed; apples, rice cakes, dried corn bundles. Use natural string, ribbon and raffia for hanging. The birds will use this material for nesting in the spring, after the food is gone.
- Call your favorite conservation group. They often will place trees in gullies and arroyos to slow soil erosion.
- Trim off the branches, mulch those in the garden and use the frame of the tree to create a bottle tree. Place colored bottles of all kinds on the stub ends of your tree. Put in a location to glisten in the sun and enjoy! Tradition says that bottle trees protect the home from evil spirits by trapping spirits inside the bottles, where they do no harm.
With a little imagination, dear gardener, your tree can provide enjoyment all year: the traditional tree at Christmas; a home for birds to gather and feed, garden mulch and finally a wonderful piece of folk art created by your family.