A live Christmas tree can give your home a one-of-a-kind ambiance during the holiday season.

But after the holidays are over, it doesn’t mean that your natural Christmas tree needs to retire.

One of the advantages of using live Christmas trees is their ability to be recycled in a variety of ways to benefit the environment, wildlife, and even people.

MDC Community Forester, Mark Grueber, says most live trees can be chipped and turned into mulch which you can use to return organic matter to the soil.

As the mulch breaks down, it helps keep the soil moist and cool during the summer and warmer during the winter.

Many municipalities will offer mulching services, where residents can drop of their trees and return later to collect the mulch.

Or, if homeowners have no use for it, the mulch might find a place in public works projects to benefit the entire community.

Along the same lines, gardeners can cut boughs and branches from their trees and place them over perennial beds to help protect them from frost and snow.

Pine needles are very moisture and mold-resistant, thanks to their waxy qualities.

Used Christmas trees can also give a holiday gift to wildlife, according to Grueber.

“They are great for habitat – place them in a quiet corner of your yard to provide cover for wildlife or stand them up and place bird feeders on them for winter feeding,” he recommended.

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