What should you do with your tree after Christmas?

If you're like many Americans who love country living and the smell of evergreen in your home, you invested in a living Christmas tree. Artificial trees are practical and ideal if you have certain allergies, but nothing beats the smell of of a Balsam Fir or Douglas Fir when you wake up on Christmas morning.

However, once the holidays are over and the presents are all unwrapped, what should you do with your tree? Don't just toss it on the curb to wait for a garbage truck to haul it off to the nearest landfill. Instead, consider giving your tree new life after the holidays by following one of these four helpful tips:

1. Drop it off at a recycling center
Many cities have tree drop-off areas at or near certain recycling centers. For most of these centers, you can drop off your tree free of charge. They may have certain requirements based on size and ornament removal, so make sure to check with your local center before you pack up your tree! If you don't want to haul your tree off, some cities even offer tree pickup days through various nonprofits or government programs. 

"Chop up your Christmas tree and save it for firewood."

2. Donate to mulching programs
Mulching programs are one of the fastest growing trends for dealing with old Christmas trees. Instead of just recycling your tree, they chip trees down into mulch that they can reuse around the city or resell to residents. Many programs use this mulch to cover playgrounds in parks and flower beds around government buildings. Some residents buy the mulch as an excellent, organic material to use around trees and flowers in their home garden. 

3. Use needles for mulch
An even easier way to gather mulch for your home garden or yard is to shake your old tree free of all its old needles. These needles don't grow mold and decompose slowly, which provides a lot of nutrients for your Texas land. If you have a farm, they provide a moisture-free mulch for ground crops. They don't smell half bad either. 

4. Save for firewood 
If you're more of a do-it-yourself type, chop up your Christmas tree and save it for firewood to heat your home or for your weekend camping trips with the family. The needles will be dry enough for a fire already, but you might want to let the logs dry out for a few weeks first before throwing them into your fireplace. 

If you feel like getting even more creative, the National Christmas Tree Association suggests using your old Christmas trees as bird feeders, soil erosion barriers, fish feeders or as renewable path material for hiking trails. Whether you're just trying to donate your old tree or buy property in Texas to run your own Christmas tree farm, Heritage Land Bank has you covered. Contact us today to learn more about our land loans!