SAN LUIS VALLEY - There’s nothing quite like a real pine tree for Christmas. After you go and select the perfect tree, then haul it home and push it through the front door, it makes your house feel magical. The smell of the real pine and the look of it just can’t be emulated by an artificial tree. But what are you supposed to do with your live tree after Christmas? There are a lot of eco-friendly options out there that will give your tree a little more life.
A very popular option is to recycle your tree when you are finished and use it as mulch. Pine needles can make a nice moisturizing mulch. You can also shred the branches of your tree to make a heavier mulch for a flowerbed. As time goes on this will give your soil a boost of nutrients.
A somewhat obvious solution is to use it as firewood. After removing the branches you can chop up the trunk and let it season in your firewood pile. However it is advised you only burn the wood outside as pine trees contain a lot of creosote that can build up in your chimney causing a chimney fire. So to be safe only burn the pine wood in an outside fire pit, and maybe a have a couple of s’mores!
If you do burn your tree, save the ashes and spread them in your garden. Wood ashes have lime and potassium which help plants grow and thrive.
If you are feeling crafty you can keep your Christmas tree in your house, by transforming it into home décor. You can make rustic wooden coasters, candle holders, and more out of the branches. You can also remove the pine needles and incorporate it into a potpourri. This way you can keep that cozy Christmas smell a little longer.
If you did not cut down your tree you can also try to replant your Christmas tree. To be replanted the tree must been dug up in a way that did not damagee or removee its root ball. If the tree was placed near vents or heaters it may have gotten too warm in your house and is too dried out to be replanted. But if your tree was in a generally cool place it may be possible to replant it. You’ll want to plant it as soon as possible, but if you live in a cold climate like the Valley the ground will not be prime for planting for a few months. It is advised that you mulch your tree and set it outside in a cold sheltered place while watering it occasionally. Once spring finally arrives, place your tree in a prepared hole and cover it and seal it with mulch and water. Continue to keep it well watered throughout the growing season and hope for the best!