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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

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Way too pretty to just end up on the curb.
Way too pretty to just end up on the curb.

Oh, Christmas tree. What to do with you?

I live in a 110-year-old house and am mildly obsessed with ways in which we can improve upon the space while maintaining it's turn-of the-century period charm. Needless to say, a subscription to "This Old House" magazine last Christmas my from in-laws wasperfect.

While scouring the pages of the December '09 issue I came across a cool little piece on 10 ways to reuse and / or recycle your Christmas tree once the season ends. Check it out.

1. Mulch with the needles -- They dry quickly and decompose slowly, which make them great moisture- and mold-free mulch.

2. Create a bird sanctuary -- Place the tree in a stand outside and hang bird feeders from the boughs.

3. Insulate perennials -- Cut off boughs and lay them over perennial beds to protect them from winter.

4. Edge your borders -- Cut the trunk into 2-in. discs and use them to edge flower beds or walkways.

5. Shelter fish -- Permission pending, if you live near a pond or lake, toss (chemical-free only) branches into the water to provide sheltering habitat to fish.

6. Set a stage for containers -- Saw the trunk into different lengths and use pieces as flowerpot holders.

7. Make coasters and trivets -- Cut thin slabs off the trunk, sand smooth and coat in polyurethane.

8. Chip it -- Rent a chipper and next spring, spread the chips under the shrubs to suppress weeds and add nutrients.

9. Feed a fire pit -- But keep it outdoors, not in your indoor fireplace.

10. Stake your plants -- Strip small branches and use the remaining twigs to support indoor potted plants.

 

Talkbacks

PlayerGotGame | Dec. 27, 2009 at 3:50 p.m. (report)

Why not get a slightly smaller tree that has been dug out of the ground instead of cut, then keep it in the garage or just a sheltered outdoor area until spring and replant it?

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viewfromnyave | Nov. 23, 2009 at 2:11 p.m. (report)

34571 It's probably even more responsible to not have a Christmas tree at all, but I don't see you advocating that.

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Loves Christmas | Nov. 23, 2009 at 6:41 a.m. (report)

Not very responsible!!!! Our community (Shorewood) has a recycling program. One one day, we take our trees to the dump and some wonderful volunteers run it through the chipper. They even hand out hot chocolate! This year we are thinking of driving around to pick up trees that are left by the curb. That's being responsible!!

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leprechaunshawn | Nov. 21, 2009 at 8:22 p.m. (report)

11. Put it out by the curb and let your tax dollars dispose of it.

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