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10 Ways to Repurpose Your Christmas Tree

 

Photo by Jimmy Chan from Pexels

Now that the holiday season is coming to a close, you’re probably wondering what to do with that giant, luscious tree in your house. Don’t toss it just yet! There are plenty of earth-friendly ways to dispose of or repurpose it. Here are our top 10 ways to repurpose your Christmas tree!

1.) Mulch

Before having your tree picked up by your usual garbage crew, do a quick Google search to see if there are any mulching programs in your area. Old trees can be great to use as barriers against sand and soil erosion, and can also be used for local water-way stabilization. It’s a great way to help your environment!

 

2.) Compost

There’s always a way to turn your old organic material into compost! Cut the branches to fit the inside of your bin, and layer them in a criss-cross pattern about 6–8 inches high to ensure good airflow through the bottom of the pile. Then add your vegetable scraps, leaf litter, and any other compostable materials. Over time, the branches will break down and turn into compost themselves.

 

3.) Replant

If you live in a mild climate, you probably purchased your living tree either balled and burlapped or in a pot. If you can’t seem to let it go, just plant it in your yard! Dig a large hole in the ground and water it thoroughly. Then add a thick layer of mulch with either wood chips or leaves. Add some extra nutrients to help it get through the rest of winter with Espoma Evergreen-tone.

 

Photo by Devin Justesen on Unsplash

4.) Chip it
If you have access to a chipper (which usually can be rented), feed your tree through it. Come springtime, you can use the wood chips to bring nutrients to your soil!

 

5.) Feed the birds

Did you know that you could turn your old tree into a bird feeder? Remove all of the non-organic decorations like ornaments, hooks, and tinsel. Then place it outside while still in the stand and place it in a spot where you’ll be able to see it from indoors. Next, decorate it again by adding things like orange slices, strung popcorn, little bunches of bird feed, and anything else a bird would like to nibble on. Now you have a wonderful haven for birds to eat and shelter themselves that you can watch all season long from the warmth of your home.

 

6.) Make a wreath

Gather some wire, scissors, and any other pieces of decoration you’d like to add. Snip off individual branches and create a beautiful decorative wreath for your front door! You can keep this up all winter long — no need to take it down after the holidays have gone.

Photo by Kieran White on Unsplash

 

 

7.) Chop firewood

Have a fireplace? Put your tree to good use and heat up the house using the wood! All you have to do is chop it up and keep it handy for when you’re ready to light a fire.

 

8.) Get crafty

There are so many different ways to use the trunk of your tree for crafts! Cut thin slices and turn them into rustic coasters. Cut up multiple slices and add it to your wreath. If it’s big enough, slice it, write a fun saying on it, and turn it into a sign! The possibilities are endless.

 

9.) Make stakes

Got leggy plants? Stake them up with small branches from your tree! No need to go out and buy wire stakes when you can make your own right from home.

 

10.) Toss it properly

If you just want to throw out the tree, start by contacting your local waste provider as they usually pick up trees in the weeks that follow Christmas.

 

 

Keep in mind plastic or flocked trees unfortunately cannot be recycled, and need to be cut into small pieces and disposed of in the regular trash. But if you have a live tree you’re no longer using, consider using some of these nature-friendly tips to give them more uses before finally getting rid of them at the end of the season!

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Top Trees for Fantastic Fall Color

The changing color of leaves is one of the best performances of fall. Trees all over are shedding their summer greens and bringing in their vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. With it comes the magic of fall, the lower temperatures and cool-weather festivities for everyone to share.

Fall is the perfect time to get trees in the ground, so what are you waiting for? Add some fall color to your garden to keep the vibrancy radiating throughout the season. There are hundreds of trees that produce amazing fall color, but these five are known for their incredible transformations.

5 Fantastic Fall Trees

Red Maple

This fall classic brings the right amount of fall color to any landscape in every season. Throughout the year, this tree has a touch of red on it. During the fall, it opens with vibrant reds and wonderful yellows. Red maples are a fall favorite, which everyone seems to enjoy. Plant in zones 3-9 and watch this tree grow.

Japanese Maple

The variety you choose will determine the variety of colors. Some Japanese maples stay red year-round, while others transition with each season. With those varieties you could see green in the summer, intense reds in the spring and yellows and orange in the fall. Plant in zones 6-8 for your trees to thrive.

Sugar Maple

Finishing off the maples strong, the leaves of this fall standout can form a complete color wheel throughout the seasons. The foliage will change various shades of green in the summer, then to shades of yellows and oranges, to eventually land on bright red in the fall. Watching this tree complete the cycle is well worth planting it in the yard. Plant anywhere in zones 2-10 and enjoy this tree every season.

Sassafras

Known for making root beer from its roots, sassafras is more than just sweet. Sassafras will exceed your expectations for fall colors with its gorgeous display of purples, reds, oranges and yellows. Better yet, you will enjoy the sweet scents that emit from the limbs year-round. Plant this hardy tree in zones 4-9 and welcome fall to the yard.

Black Gum Tree

One branch of this tree can contain many shades of fall color, which makes it a contender for our fall favorites. You will find shades of orange, yellow, purple, bright red and scarlet foliage decorating this tree. The variety that will provide the best fall coloring is ‘Autumn Cascades’. It is a weeping variety, which makes it all the better for that perfect fall look. Plant in zones 4-9 and watch your tree grow to 30 to 50 feet high.

Make sure you keep the fall colors vibrant and full with Espoma’s Tree-Tone.

Fall is for Planting: Trees

The best time to plant a tree or shrub is in the fall. A well-placed tree will cool your home in summer and block cold winter winds. Not to mention that the aesthetics can increase your home’s curb appeal and add value.

Even though you may be prepping for winter, you can still set your new tree or shrub up for success by planting it in a spot where it can thrive for generations to come.

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Decide on the right tree for your yard and needs before you plant. Choose a tree based on the characteristics you want — shade, wildlife habitat, privacy or to block the wind. Check out the below six steps from Hillermann Nursery and Florist to start planting this fall.

6 Easy Steps to Plant a Tree or Shrub

You’ve found the right tree and the perfect spot, now it’s time for the fun part. It doesn’t take much to plant a tree — just a shovel, tape measure and hose. To help your new tree survive, you’ll need to put in extra effort. Use these tips to help your new tree to grow.

  1. Size up your yard for the perfect spot. Take the amount of sunlight, ground vegetation and hazards like wires or pipes into consideration. Plant at least 15 feet away from your house, sidewalks, driveways and other trees. Allocate enough space in the yard for your new tree to grow. Consider its mature height, crown spread, and root space. A fully grown tree will take up much more space than your tiny sapling. Look up to make sure a fully grown tree won’t interfere with anything overhead.
  2. Start digging. Dig a hole twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball. Then, arrange the tree at the same depth it was growing before and fill half the hole with compost or Espoma Organic All Purpose Garden Soil.
  3. Give trees a boost. Mix in an organic fertilizer such as Bio-tone Starter Plus with the soil. For a trunk diameter up to 1.5 inches, use 4 pounds of Tree-tone. If the trunk is 2-3”, use 4 pounds of Tree-tone per inch. So, if your tree trunk is 2.5 inches, use 10 pounds of Tree-tone. And, for tree trunks over 3 inches, use 5 pounds of Espoma Tree-Tone per inch.
  4. Stake the tree. Use two opposing, flexible ties to stake the tree. Place ties on the lower half of the tree to allow trunk movement.
  5. Help your new tree become established by watering it weekly for the first two years.
  6. Finish with mulch. Use 2 ½ -3 inches of shredded hardwood or leaf mulch around the plant. Do not over mulch up to the trunk or “volcano” mulch. This can kill the tree.

Planting a tree is an investment in your home and your community that will pay off for years to come. To learn about fertilizing established trees, watch this Garden Answer video.

How to Fertilize Trees

 

Laura from Garden Answer demonstrates how to fertilize a tree using Espoma’s Tree-tone. The slow release formula provides a long lasting nutrient reservoir to feed the entire tree, leaves, trunk, and roots.