The Nature Conservancy of Canada is suggesting putting your old Christmas tree out in your backyard this year, as a refuge for wildlife. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is suggesting putting your old Christmas tree out in your backyard this year, as a refuge for wildlife. (Black Press Media file photo)

Give your Christmas tree a second life by recycling it in your back yard

A Christmas tree should take about a year to decompose, says Nature Conservancy of Canada

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is suggesting another way to get rid of your Christmas tree after the holidays that is even easier than getting it collected and chipped.

Jessica Panetta, NCC’s national media relations manager, says you can recycle your tree yourself by putting it in the backyard to be used as a wildlife refuge. Panetta suggests propping it up next to another tree in the garden or laying it down at the bottom of another tree to let it decompose over the winter months.

READ ALSO: Real or fake: The best Christmas tree option for the planet

“You could even have some fun with it and extend the holiday season by redecorating it with the family,” she says, suggesting people use pine cones covered in peanut butter or stringing together some seeds for birds to eat.

“[Birds are] trying to tough out the winter months and maybe there are some storms where they need to find extra shelter, your Christmas tree could actually be a really great habitat for these birds.”

As the season progresses the tree will lose all its needles. By springtime, the tree will look more like a “Charlie Brown Christmas tree,” at that point, Panetta suggests cutting off all the branches and putting them on top of your garden bed or around the soil.

READ ALSO: ‘It was in rough condition’: Vintage toy car gets new life by Oak Bay man

“What that’s going to do is shelter flowers and hold moister in the soil, which is going to help build the soil but it also provides benefits for your own backyard,” she explains.

Putting the tree onto soil directly helps it decompose quicker while providing shelter for insects and pollinators into the spring and summer months.

“When you have a tree in your backyard … you get to see it go through all the season,” she says, adding it’s a great opportunity to learn more about forest ecology. A Christmas tree should take about a year to decompose in a backyard, so you’ll have space for next year’s tree when the time comes.

“Anything is better than sending it to the landfill,” says Panetta.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Victoria police are warning people of a continued rise in cybercrime. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
Victoria police warn of rising cybercrime called spear phishing

Fraudsters continue to trick people out of large sums of money

Metchosin Coun. Kyara Kahakauwila is stepping down as deputy mayor following controversy over her decision to travel to Mexico in December. (Black Press Media file photo)
Councillor steps down as deputy mayor of Metchosin after controversial trip to Mexico

Mayor hopeful mediation will help council get back to the business of community

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

Most Read