Once your tinsel and baubles have been packed away for another year don’t just bin your Christmas tree, try a spot of upcycling or recycling. Here are some great ideas:
1. Plant Food
Christmas trees can be chipped or mulched and turned into compost to help the other plants in your garden. The needles can even be scattered on to muddy pathways to provide grip, while mulched Christmas trees can also help to prevent soil erosion in heavy rain.
2. Protect tender plants
Strip the branches off the trunk and put over your flower beds during the colder months. If you’re really creative, you can tie them together to create a frame to place over bigger plants.
3. A sturdy stake
Once you’ve stripped the branches, you’re left with a great support for climbing plants or young saplings. Simply push it into the ground and loosely strap young trees to it for support, or watch sweet peas or honeysuckle climb it in the summer.
4. Replant it
It might sound crazy, but Christmas trees are incredibly hardy and even those that have had their roots chopped off stand a good chance of growing new ones. Just plant in a pot with compost, water it regularly and see what happens.
5. Bird feeder
Dead or alive, your old Christmas tree is a great place to hang tasty titbits for your favourite garden birds. Plant it in a heavy pot and adorn the branches with everything from fat balls to halved coconut shells filled with seed or nuts.
6. Make your own potpourri
Collect some pine needles and chop off a section of tree stump. Add some cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves and place it all in an oven-proof bowl, filled halfway with water. Put it in a warm place, such as above a radiator, and let the warming winter scents fill your home.
7. Rustic coasters
Cut sections of tree trunk to make unique drinks coasters for your home. Sand them down and give them a coat of varnish to seal them. You could even glue lots of sections together to create a larger mat or trivet.