Each January the last step of the Christmas tree lifecycle is on display – trees lining the streets waiting for their final trip to the mulch piles at the village reclamation facility. However, there are other ways to recycle or upcycle trees that may come down throughout the year – some are obvious but others not.
Firewood: Provided the wood isn’t diseased, keeping the wood to use throughout the year to burn either inside or out is the most obvious choice for that recycled tree.
Mulch: Coming in second place is mulch. Good for retaining moisture and blocking weed growth, mulch is a natural and attractive option. Once again, make sure the mulch doesn’t contain insect infestation or mold/disease.
Furniture: For those on the handy side, upcycled wood can be used to fashion stools, benches, tables and chairs.
Pathways: Spend 5 minutes on Pinterest and you’ll see hundreds of examples of how to use log ‘slices’ as decorative paths or even flooring for a rustic look and feel.
Decoration: Take the pathway and put it on the wall! Using cross-cuts of logs can be arranged, hung, painted and/or stained in any pattern or size.
Clocks: Found at every art fair is the famous ‘wood clock’. Using different colors, sizes and hardware, convert those cross-cut logs into attractive one-of-a kind clock!
Art: Picture frames, mobiles, hooks, stands – endless possibilities.
Vessel: Hollow out a section of log and use it for a planter, candle, container on the patio or in the sunroom.
Garden: Use thick branches to divide your garden into sections; use thin branches to mark vegetables, note dates or personalize however you see fit.
Fences: Full or partial fences made from repurposed wood either ripped from the trunk of the tree or using thicker branches create a natural boundary for your home.
Sculpture: Attention artists – using tree sections or even the remaining stumps, compelling sculptures can be created for a unique welcome to your home.
So whether it’s January and you’re ready to toss that tree out to the curb or its July and you just had a professional service take down that 130-year old Maple, there are plenty of ways to recycle other than mulch. Hopefully this list will help give you get some fun ideas to get started!