• 43°

Give your Christmas tree a second life in the landscape

By Melinda Myers

Melindamyers.com

Once your holiday celebrations have passed and the decorations go back into storage, it is time to deal with your real Christmas tree.

Don’t drag it to the curb to be hauled away by the trash collectors.  Give it a second, even third life, in your landscape. No live Christmas tree?  Don’t worry!  I’m sure your friends and neighbors will share theirs.

Start recycling all those needles that landed on the floor. Sweep them up and use them as mulch in the garden.

Place them directly on the soil around your plants. And don’t worry, they will not make the soil too acidic.  In fact, as they break down, they will add organic matter to the soil.

Move your cut Christmas tree outdoors after the holidays. Use it as a windbreak or for added shade to prevent drying of tender evergreens.

Strategically place your discarded tree on the windward side of rhododendron, boxwood, and needled or broadleaf evergreens subject to winter burn. Place it on the south side of these plants to shade them from the drying winter sun.

Or set the tree in the landscape for a bit of added greenery. Secure it in place using stakes and guy wires. Then add a bit of food for your feathered visitors.

Decorate the trees with fruits, berries, and seeds the birds can enjoy. Hang strands of cranberries and slices of oranges on colorful yarn and homemade bird ornaments to complete the edible display.

The birds will enjoy the added food and shelter and you will enjoy watching these visitors to your landscape.

Then save the tree for trellising beans and peas in the garden. The vines will grow up and over, masking the bare tree branches. Growing vertically saves space and makes harvesting easier.

Consider chipping and shredding your tree into mulch around trees and shrubs or for pathways in the landscape.

No chipper? You and your neighbors may want to join forces and share the cost of renting a chipper. Shred discarded Christmas trees and other prunings for use as mulch in your landscapes.

And, if this is not possible, check for recycling resources in your community. Many municipalities have special pickups for Christmas trees. These are chipped, shredded and made available for citizens to use in their landscapes.

Always check on any alerts of live Christmas trees and greens shipped in from other regions of the country. These may contain pests that can infest your landscape or harm native plantings and local Christmas tree farms in your area.

The Department of Natural Resources or your local Extension Office should have information on any such threats. They can provide information on proper disposal.

And once you discover the value of this free resource, you may find yourself collecting a few more from neighbors who buy locally grown trees. Although, if your family is like mine, they may ask that you wait until dark to drag your treasures back home.

Melinda Myers has written numerous books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the nationally-syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and her web site is www.MelindaMyers.com.

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Vehicles broken into overnight at Marriott, Comfort Suites hotels

Coronavirus

County reports two new COVID-19 deaths, two weeks of 50-case increases

Local

Red wolves have been busy growing up at Dan Nicholas Park

Local

Salisbury City Council to consider contract for street paving

Education

Catawba College honors employees for length of service

High School

High school football: Clay hopes for big senior season

Local

Helen, Ralph Brown contribute to Christmas Happiness to help people in need

Cleveland

Cleveland Police charge woman with attempted murder after Sunday night shooting

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cases in Rowan continue to surge after 50 new cases added; 19% of total cases active

Local

Salisbury Police investigating accidental shooting at apartment building

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man arrested on felony counts of trafficking

Local

Motorcyclist airlifted following wreck on Jake Alexander Boulevard Sunday

Elections

Political Notebook: Senate Republicans disagree with Cooper administration halting CARES Act spending

Ask Us

Ask Us: Readers ask about legality of begging in Salisbury, Dominion voting machines

Local

Biden fractures foot while playing with dog, to wear a boot

Crime

Blotter: Passenger in chase that ended downtown charged with possessing stolen vehicle

Business

Frustrated and confused by COVID-19 restrictions, local bar owners near breaking point

Elections

Republican volunteers say ‘passion’ drove victories across the ballot

News

Peppermint partnership: N.C. State’s Food Science Club manufactures ice cream toppings at Research Campus

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury-Rowan utilities honored for exceeding drinking water standards

Coronavirus

County reports 57 new COVID-19 positives Saturday

Local

Sharing the Season 2020 list

Lifestyle

One last blessing. For 20 precious minutes, 89-year-old Barrier met granddaughter

Business

Businesses plan to continue using practices driven by COVID-19 after pandemic is over