Something else to think about, if you buy an artificial tree, buy one that is not pre-lit. That way you can chose a better light (LED) and the tree can last for a very long time and all you have to replace is the lights. I got that lesson this year when I tried to get my pre-lit tree to work, then ruined it when trying to take the other lights off. Lable me "lesson learned".
I've gone the fake tree route for exactly that reason. Most communities offer some sort of Christmas tree drop-off program for mulching or composting. The potted tree is a great idea, but unfortunately my house doesn't get enough light to support most houseplants. I have been thinking about trying to groom a rosemary plant into a tree though - maybe for next year!
I grew up with a tree, but have been avoiding it for the past few years because I don't want to waist the tree. I've been debating when I have kids or another reason for wanting a tree whether I'd go for live or artificial. I'm leaning towards live. It'd be fun to watch the christmas tree grow with the little ones if I could find a large rolling pot.
For those with dead trees it'd probably do well to use anything you can of it (I remember trying to carve something out of part of one one year), and then composting the rest.
One local town composts them, another burns them in a big bonfire. Obviously the compost is the better choice, but at least both are not in the landfill. They are pretty strick near me about not allowing any brush in the trash.
Our community also chips them to make mulch. You can stick them in the backyard with birdseed ornaments and they get a bit of extra use for food and shelter for feathered friends in the winter. I also know bass fishermen who sink them upside-down at their favorite fishing hole, because the bass like to hide in the branches.
I view Christmas trees as many people do farm animals. They are raised for a purpose. We buy ours from a "cut your own" tree farm down the road and he replants baby trees in the spots left vacant. I like supporting a local business this way.
"Some of my best living has been done when I really should have been doing something else." Ashleigh Brilliant
Some communities offer tree recycling. We happen to have a wood stove, so that is where ours goes, and of course there are living Christmas trees like you used to have where people can plant them later, those are the best option.
So Christmas is over and the decoration is coming down. I have been noticing lots of trees just dumped in the trash. AS I come from a country where we do not do the real tree thing, I was wondering. Isn't there any use for the trees that are not wanted anymore? Once I had (in my old country) a real Xmas tree, but since it was in a pot, I used it for 8 years (then I came to the US). It just seems a lot of waste. Does anybody have any idea of how to use those trees?
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe you will achieve. Salt-N-Pepa
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