The holiday season may be over, but some of you may still have your Christmas tree up. If you are like my family, then keeping the tree up longer is a nice way to beat the darkness until we get closer to spring. But that still leaves the question of what to do when it is time to dispose of the tree.
Meaford doesn’t offer curbside pickup for trees, but you can take them to the Operations Center (157859 7th Line) for disposal. If you are lucky enough to have some property or a wooded area in your yard, composting the tree is a great way to dispose of it, providing shelter for small wildlife and nutrients to the soil.
There is another option though. Set up your tree in the backyard and use it as a bird feeder. Tie your old Christmas tree to another tree or lean it against a shed, just secure it in case of strong winds. Decorate the tree with bird seed ornaments, slices of dried oranges, pine cones slathered with peanut butter, dried seed pods, strings of popcorn, anything you have on hand. You can even stuff loose wool, twigs, and extra twine in the branches for birds to use in nest-making in the spring. This is a fun project for the whole family, so make sure to get the kids involved in helping.
Pine cone bird feeder – Gather pinecones that have space between the layers, slather in peanut butter and cover in birdseed. Hang them from your Christmas tree or other trees and watch the birds flock in. (from gardeningknowhow.com)
Orange bird feeder – Use half an orange or grapefruit peel with the insides removed. Poke holes in the sides and attach twine for hanging, then fill it with birdseed and hang outside. (from gardeningknowhow.com)
Birdseed ornaments: mix one cup seed with ¼ cup of flour, ¼ cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of corn syrup. Spoon into cookie cutters; let dry 24 hours. Make holes with a skewer and thread twine through and hang from branches. (from Better Homes and Gardens)
Peanut Butter Seed Balls from the gardendiaries.blog (https://thegardendiaries.blog/2022/01/03/bird-feeding-station-from-recycled-christmas-tree/)
5-6 c. popped corn with no salt, don’t use microwaved, like Jiffy Pop
1 c. raisins, or other dried fruit
¾ c. peanuts, not salted, as salt can be toxic to birds
2 ½ c. peanut butter, I like to use the natural kind
½ c. corn syrup
1 c. mixed bird seed
Melt the peanut butter and corn syrup on low heat until smooth and syrupy.
Add in rest of ingredients and stir until everything is completely moistened.
Let cool until cool enough to form into small balls. Then form the mixture into balls about 1 – 2 inches in diameter by hand.
Use natural jute twine, wrapping around the balls firmly and creating a hanger to tie to the tree branch.
Attracting wildlife to your yard will provide a unique opportunity for you to observe the local birds and help them to survive the long winter months with an easy meal.