If you are looking for a second act to your Christmas tree, leave it in the backyard.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada recommends that urban wildlife be allowed to recycle their waste, rather than having it taken away by the city.
Samantha Knight, NCC’s national conservation science manger, said that leaving a tree in your backyard can help provide habitat for birds during winter months. This is especially true during storms or cold nights.
This practice is called a small act conservation by the conservancy.
The first step is to locate it. You can either prop it against a fence or another tree, or lay it in your garden.
You can even redecorate it with treats to attract wildlife, like peanut butter-filled pine cones, strings of peanuts, or suet for birds to chew on at the same time they take shelter in the tree.
Knight said that evergreens provide birds with a safe haven while they visit your feeder. Another benefit is that if you leave the tree in your garden over the summer, it will continue to provide habitat for wildlife and improve your soil as it decomposes.
The needles will be gone by spring. You can then cut the branches and add them in your garden. Next, lay the trunk of tree in the soil, but not on top of any flowers.
A tree can be left in your backyard to provide habitat for birds during winter months, especially during storms and cold nights.
Branches and trunks provide habitat, shelter wildflowers and hold water to enhance soil. Frogs can find shelter under logs and insects like carpenterbees may burrow in the wood.
Knight stated that the trunk and branches will start to decompose by fall and then turn into soil. Many of our Christmas trees, particularly spruce and balsam fir, have very low rot resistance and break down quickly when exposed to the elements. The quicker the tree trunk and cut branches come in contact with the ground, it will decompose faster. Drilling holes in the tree trunk will speed up that process.”