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Real Christmas Trees: There is Life after the Holidays

Before you kick your Christmas tree to the curb, consider our recycling options and tips on how to extend its life after the holidays.

Another Christmas season has come and gone, and now you’re left with a lonely Christmas tree. By this time it’s beginning to look rather forlorn. Fear not, you do have a few options.

Firstly, the Bitters and Nelson Gardens Brush Recycling Centers will accept Christmas trees for free throughout the month of January, and provide free nutrient-rich mulch while supplies last.

If you can’t make it to the brush recycling centers, another great option is to use the tree somewhere in your landscape as winter shelter for resident and migrating birds. Simply cut it up into pieces about 2 ½ to 3 feet long and create little teepees or square boxes in the back of your yard. Wildlife will appreciate these snug little homes during the winter and early spring months. As with all plants, the branches and leaves will decompose over time. Covering them up with live oak leaves after the spring leaf fall will expedite the process.

We’ve discussed the recycle and reuse options. What about a repurpose option? You can accessorize your old Christmas tree with edible and attractive nuts, peanut butter and citrus, then sit back and watch your feathered friends frolic to the feast!

Don’t let the Christmas season end. Spread some holiday cheer for another couple of months by recycling, reusing or repurposing your Christmas tree.

Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson is a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you’re likely to find him hiking San Antonio’s wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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