(Depositphotos.com)

(Depositphotos.com)

Give your Christmas tree back to the wild by leaving it outside: nature conservancy

The trees can be a great benefit to local wildlife

By Charlie Carey

If you’re in need of extending some Christmas cheer, the Nature Conservancy of Canada suggests keeping your Christmas tree in your backyard over the winter, this year.

Mimicking what happens in a forest when a tree naturally decomposes, letting nature help you recycle your tree can be done easily by propping the tree against a fence or laying it on the ground in a garden. However, it’s important to make sure it’s a tree that can grow in B.C., and not leave exotic species outdoors.

Not only a way to provide extra shelter and a new habitat for bird populations, the trees can also be repurposed to a crafting activity for the whole family, said Dan Kraus, NCC senior conservation biologist. Adding natural ornaments, such as pine cones or a string of peanuts, can be an easy way to attract birds into your yard.

“Evergreens offer a safe place for birds to rest while they visit your feeder,” said Kraus. “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.”

As it will likely lose most of its needles by spring, your new meager Charlie Brown Christmas tree can be pulled-apart, where the trunk and branches can get a new lease on life as hide-outs for toads, insects, and bees.

“By fall, the branches and trunk will begin to decompose and turn into soil,” said Kaus. “Many of our Christmas trees, particularly spruce and balsam fir, have very low rot resistance and break down quickly when exposed to the elements.” To speed up the decomposition of the tree, you can even drill holes in the trunk to allow for more air and moisture.

If a decomposing reminder of the holiday season isn’t on your new year to-do list, there are other options to rehome your tree. Christmas trees are often recycled to be used as trail bedding and burnt for alternative fuels, so contact your local municipality about pick-ups and drop-offs.

VIDEO: Treats children leave for Santa around the world


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

ChristmasChristmas tree

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

Just Posted

It was a special treat day at Points West Living in Stettler as the local Dairy Queen donated mini blizzard treats for residents and staff to enjoy. It was a way to celebrate the end of a recent COVID-19 outbreak at the facility. photo submitted
It was a special treat day at Stettler’s Points West Living recently

Dairy Queen provided 150 mini-blizzards for staff and residents

book
Stettler Learning Centre staff broaden services in challenging times

“We are creative, we are innovative and we are resilient. We are flexible and we want to adapt.”

ski
Valley Ski Club Slope Stabilization Project is awarded CFEP Grant

With forecasts predicting continued mild weather, the board made the decision not to proceed with the current season

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

county
County of Stettler council meeting highlights for Jan. 13th

County council chambers will be getting some audio-visual upgrades

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Lacombe is looking at its options for reclaiming sewage lagoons that are no longer needed. Vesta Energy Ltd. has signed a deal to use three lagoons to store water for fracking.
Map from City of Lacombe
Energy company to use former Lacombe sewage lagoons to store water for fracking

Vesta Energy Ltd. will pay Lacombe more than $100,000 a year in 20-year deal

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Monday that11 more people had died from COVID-19, bringing the province’s death toll to 1,447. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Eleven more Albertans die from COVID-19

There were 739 people in hospital, 120 in ICU on Monday

World Juniors’ referee Mike Langin makes a called during the Canada vs. Slovakia at the 2021 World Junior Championship at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Dec. 27, 2020. (Photo by Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada)
Former Sylvan Lake man lives his dream at World Junior Championships

Mike Langin was one the 25 Canadian officials who worked during the tournament

The Mountain Cree Traditional Band headquarters in Mirror, Alta. has been the target of theft and vandalism. (Photo submitted)
Mountain Cree Traditional Band’s headquarters broken into five times

AWNTB says not enough been done to deter crime in Mirror, Alta.

Indigenous people gather for a ceremony for Cindy Gladue held at the courthouse in Edmonton, Alta, on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Bradley Barton, a 52-year-old long-haul truck driver from Ontario on trial for manslaughter, is accused of killing Gladue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
People stand in support of mother as new trial gets underway in death of Cindy Gladue

Bradley Barton, a long-haul truck driver from Ontario, will now be tried for manslaughter in the 2011 death

(Photo submitted)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Facebook/ The Open Door 24/7 Integrated Response Hub- Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin residents show support for 24/7 Integrated Response Hub

Wetaskiwin residents and City Council members showed support for Hub with positive signs.

Most Read