Recycling your Christmas Tree

I open up the Chicago Tribune today and see a huge article on the recycling of Christmas trees.  It amuses me to no end that in our society we can often take something simple and render it complicated.  I find it so interesting that some of the simplest things are totally ignored.  Does no one take the time to think anymore?

For years I have been taking my Christmas tree and throwing it in the backyard as mentioned in a previous blog entry.  I might decorate it with food for the birds if I am so inclined.  Usually I just put it within vision of the kitchen window.  We enjoy seeing it for some time before spring sets in.

I take simple pruning shears that I use in the garden and I snip off about six inch or longer branches.  The idea is to get something that will lie flat once cut.  Because of the nature of the tree, making cuts on it are simple and in fact don’t require a saw for anything but the main trunk of the tree.  So I continue removing the branches bit by bit and I take the cuttings and use them as simple mulch under and behind bushes all over my yard.  I have to say that these branches always decompose with great speed.   I usually put regular, more decorative mulch over this. 

Time to do this?  Between twenty minutes and a half hour.  The only catch is to wear gloves you don’t mind a little sap on, otherwise you will have to pull out something like turpentine to remove what you get on your hands!

In the past, when I did more vegetable gardening, I would take one of the “poles” left from my tree and insert it in the ground for climbing beans or such.  It could be used for flowers as well.  My favorite is to take three of these Christmas tree “poles” and put them together in the shape of a tepee framework, tied at the top.  This works very well for climbing plants.  Think of clematis or morning glories decorating these frameworks; simple, natural, beautiful, free!

Sometimes, when I see huge articles on these issues, as I did in today’s Trib, my thoughts are that it must be a slow news day or people just have no clue.  Is it one of these or is it both? Should I send my idea to Martha Stewart?  Nate Berkus?


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