Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Christmas Tree Reuse

Each day on my way to work I pass evidence of the slow migration of Christmas trees on their way to the dump. Will these even be used as ADC (alternative daily cover) if they aren't in the green bin? I am tempted to pick some of them up myself and run them through our chipper. We can always use more mulch.

At our house I use most of the dried branches from our tree as kindling for fires, and mulch the rest. Pine needles are good for mulch because they break down slowly. They take longer than most material to compost but if you are not in a rush composting will work too.

We don't have very many fires through the winter but I do enjoy the smell of pine when we do. I prefer to stack our split wood with kindling interspersed through the pile. This way, when I go to make a fire I have the right ingredients for a one match fire at hand in the same place ranging from small to medium to large. The dried needles practically ignite like gunpowder. They catch the small sticks which light the larger sticks, then branches then split wood and - voila! the fire is burning.

This year due to a lack of time/planning we got our tree from a local lot. That probably means that it came from Oregon nearly 1,000 miles away by truck. When I was a kid we used to get our tree from a cut your own lot. Locally grown trees are definitely the way to go - I don't know why I didn't make that observation earlier. Next year for sure.

BTW - I love what the folks at Our Yellow House did.


  1. Hey Eric - there are 3 Christmas trees on the sidewalk outside my apartment right now. If you want to come take them, I'm happy to give you directions!

  2. I've been eyeing all the trees sitting curbside as well. I want to grab them all and chop them up into firewood. We did that all the time growing up, and I have to agree that the smell is amazing. We recently got our indoor fireplace working, too. Hmmm... Perhaps I will give in next time I drive past an abandoned tree.


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