Repurposing Christmas trees beneficial for wildlife, ecosystem: NCC

Click to play video: 'Repurposing your Christmas tree and other ways to enhance the backyard'
Repurposing your Christmas tree and other ways to enhance the backyard
If you've got a natural Christmas tree you're taking down, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has a suggestion that could help enhance your backyard — with some other eco-friendly tips during the winter – Jan 11, 2021

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has another idea for people still needing to dispose of their Christmas tree — repurpose it.

Putting the tree in the backyard can provide many benefits for wildlife and the ecosystem, said Cameron Wood, the NCC’s director of conservation.

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“It has a ton of benefits for birds and other wildlife,” Wood said.

“It can provide a safe place for them to rest and roost during the day while they visit your feeder, or really just to kind of shelter from those winter storms that can be really harsh.”

The NCC said trees should be propped up near another tree or against a fence, or laid across a garden.

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Wood said needles and twigs from the tree can be added to flower beds in the spring, which will add nutrients back into the soil.

“When a tree dies in nature, it’s going to go into the ground and break down over time and you can help speed up that process by having a little bit more contact with the soil,” he said.

Wood said the process can be speeded up by drilling holes in bigger stems and the trunk.

“By the time next fall rolls around, that it will actually start breaking down already.”

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Arborist chipping in donations to Saskatoon Food Bank: ‘If you can help you should’

The trunk also provides habitat during the summer, the NCC said, with toads seeking shelter under the log and insects burrowing into the wood.

Besides repurposing Christmas trees, Wood said there are other things people can do in their backyards to help wildlife and the environment over the winter.

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“Leaving small little brush piles in your yard over the winter can be good for the small mammals and birds,” he said.

And while bird feeders are a popular item, he has some advice.

“If you have bird feeders in your yard, it’s good to make sure that to keep that up all winter long or to stop at the beginning of the winter and not do it because birds get accustomed to having that available.”

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