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Earth-Friendly Ways to Repurpose Your Christmas Tree

The holidays are over and now it’s time to decide what to do with your Christmas tree. Fortunately, there are several, earth-friendly ways to dispose of, or repurpose your tree.

If you simply want to have it removed, start by contacting your waste provider. Many will pick up trees in the weeks that follow Christmas. If you have a compost container and a pruner, you can cut up the branches and loosely pile them inside your bin to be hauled away with your other compost. Most counties have drop-off sites as well.

 

4 Ways to Upcycle Your Tree

Tree recycling and mulching programs are springing up all over the country. A quick Google search will help you find out if there is one in your area. Some communities use your old trees for sand and soil erosion barriers. They are especially welcome for lake, river and delta stabilization.

Turning your old Christmas tree into a birdfeeder is a great way to repurpose your tree. First of all, make sure all the decorations, hooks and tinsel are removed. Then put it outside, stand and all, in a place where you’ll be able to see it from indoors. Decorate it with orange slices, strung popcorn, little bunches of millet and suet balls. The birds will love the treat and you can enjoy watching them from the warmth of your home. It will also provide shelter from the cold winter winds for all of your birds

Another idea to repurpose your tree, is to start a compost pile. Cut the branches so they’ll fit inside the bin. Layer them inside in a crisscross pattern about 6 or 8 inches high. This will ensure good airflow around the bottom of your new compost pile. Then add your vegetable scraps and leaf litter as you normally would. In time, the branches will breakdown and turn to compost as well.

If you live in a mild climate, your best option might be to purchase a living tree, either balled and burlaped or in a pot. Do yourself a favor and dig the planting hole in the fall when the ground is easy to work. Plant it right after Christmas, water it once thoroughly and then mulch with a thick layer of wood chips or leaves.

Plastic Christmas trees can’t be recycled of course, and neither can flocked trees. They need to be cut op in small pieces and disposed of in the regular trash.

Best Plants that Produce Fall Fruit

It’s easy to help your garden thrive when there is something beautiful to look at. Spring and summer seasons make this easy to do with their gorgeous floral blooms. Did you know that Autumn can have equally as attractive plants?

Even the simplest shrubs and trees make great additions to fall gardens, bonus points if there’s fall fruit involved. We’ve rounded up the top trees and shrubs that will provide year-round enjoyment and fresh fall fruit.

6 Trees and Shrubs with Fall Fruit

  1. Mountain Ash

This deciduous tree gets its name from the blue-green pinnate leaves and white flowers that bloom in the spring. Mountain ash truly dazzles in autumn, turning into a blazing purple and red. The white flowers transition to shiny pink berries that stands bright against its foliage. And despite the name, mountain-ash (Sorbus) are very different types of plants than ash and are not attacked by emerald ash borer. Hardy in Zones 4-7 and feed regularly with Tree-Tone for strong roots and trunk.

  1. Crabapple

Crabapple trees offer beautiful hues. Varieties can include colors of burgundy, purple, red, orange, green or yellow. As the crabapple transitions into autumn, the fruit really begins to show. It transitions well into the winter, when birds will happily take care of the fruit. Hardy in zones 4-7 and feed regularly with Tree-Tone for strong roots and trunk.

  1. Beauty Berry

While you might not think twice about this shrub in the spring or summer, it shines in autumn. Its tiny pink flowers transform into brilliant ruby-violet berries that stop people in their tracks. This autumn shrub will give your garden something to talk about. Hardy in zones 5-11. Use Plant-Tone for beautiful berries.

  1. Possumhaw

This tree may be small, but it certainly is mighty. Even after the foliage falls in the autumn, the bright red berries remain, making it look like a red flowering tree. The berries on this tree aren’t large, but they last through a cold winter – unless the birds get them first. The Possumhaw is tricky – it ‘prefers’ acid soils but can ‘tolerate’ alkaline. Hardy in zones 5-8 and feed regularly with Holly-Tone for strong roots and trunk.

  1. Teton Firethorn

Stunningly bright in the autumn and winter, this show stopping shrub is the perfect edition to your garden. Vibrant orange fruit pop out from behind the foliage. The fruit thickly covers top to bottom on this plant. This shrub is tall and typically used as a hedge. Hardy in zones 6-9 and feed regularly with Holly-tone for radiant blooms and fruit.

  1. Coralberry

This low-key shrub in the spring and summer saves it’s best for autumn and winter when the small yellow flowers transform into purple-red fruit clusters. They are shade tolerant and can last well into the winter. Hardy in zones 2-7 and feed regularly with Plant-Tone for gorgeous blooms and tasty berries.

Want to know how to fertilize trees and shrubs? Let Laura from Garden Answer show you how!

tree-tone, espoma tree fertilizer, garden answer tree fertilizer

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.