11 Ways to Reuse or Recycle a Christmas Tree; City Disposal

Bellefontaine residents looking to dispose of their real Christmas tree can do so at the city compost area on Troy Road near the viaduct.

This location is limited to city residents ONLY.

If you live outside of the city, how about reusing or recycling that Christmas tree?

Sure, you could just chuck it into a brush pile, but what about trying something new this year?

Here are 11 great ways to give that tree back to nature:

  1. A Christmas tree makes for a lovely habitat for small birds, such as chickadees and finches, during the winter months, especially on cold nights and during storms. Evergreens provide important shelter. Prop it up near a bird feeder, another tree, or against a fence. Or, just lay it in your garden for animals of all sorts to enjoy.
  2. Trim the branches from the tree and saw the trunk into several pieces. Tie the pieces together and store the bundle in the cellar. These logs will make for an aromatic Yule log to use in your fireplace next Christmas Eve.
  3. Use the branches from your Christmas tree as mulch, giving perennials and shrubs extra root protection from winter weather. Just put the cut branches in the garden, and they’ll hold moisture in and help build the soil, as well as provide shelter for pollinators and wildlife.
  4. Redecorate your tree as an outdoor bird feeder. String it with popcorn and cranberry garland or other bird-friendly goodies. Add pine cones filled with peanut butter or homemade suet, too!
  5. Use boughs from your Christmas tree to shade broad-leaved evergreen shrubs from the harsh winter sun and to block out gnawing pests.
  6. Building a house or know someone who is? Nail the tree to the peak of the roof rafters to bring good luck.
  7. Sew scraps of fabric together and fill them with Christmas tree needles. These make fragrant balsam sachets that can freshen drawers and closets.
  8. Collect trees from several neighbors and line them up along your driveway or sidewalk as a windbreak. Anchor them to cement blocks and bury the blocks in the snow.
  9. Pile Christmas tree boughs around tree trunks to discourage neighborhood dogs from doing you-know-what.
  10. Use dried-out sprigs to ignite kindling in your woodstove or fireplace.
  11. Give the tree to a friend or neighbor who has a woodchipper. Wood chips can be used as mulch!

Of course, you can simply leave the trees in your backyard if you have the room.

Over the winter and fall, the trees will decompose.

Young Christmas trees, particularly spruce and balsam fir, have very low rot resistance and break down quickly, adding richness to the soil—just as nature intended!