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A Christmas tree is settling into its new home post-holidays. Image: Submitted

Give your Christmas tree a second life

By Brad Perry Dec 28, 2023 | 6:17 AM

You can give your Christmas tree a second life after the holiday season is over.

Officials with the Nature Conservancy of Canada suggest putting it in your backyard.

Spokesperson Andrew Holland said the tree can serve many uses over the coming months.

“Lean it up against your deck or just chuck it out in the backyard and it can provide warmth for overwintering birds over the next three or four months,” Holland said in an interview.

Holland said you can also redecorate the tree with bird food or suet to give animals something to snack on.

The idea, he said, is to get people thinking about the birds that might not be used to our tough winter climate.

By the time spring rolls around, Holland said the tree will have lost most of its needles and will start to look like a dead tree.

You can then help out your flowers by mimicking what happens with dead trees in the forest.

“Cut up the branches and leave them in your garden, and cut holes in the tree stump and let it decompose,” said Holland.

The tree trunk will also provide a home for many backyard animals, such as toads and insects. The more contact the cut branches and trunk have with the ground, the faster they will start to be recycled by fungi, insects and bacteria.

For those who live in an apartment building or a condominium, Holland said your tree can also be put to use to help others.

“Try to contact local farmers or animal rehab centres. Sometimes they’ll use the trees as habitat for their animals and this type of thing,” he said.