A funny thing happens the day after Christmas. Suddenly the lights aren't nearly as bright, the songs not as merry, and your Christmas tree isn't quite as magical. Instead of putting your tree out by the curb for the garbage man this year, consider putting it to work around your home with these helpful tips:
Snowload and freezing are two of the biggest threats to your garden during the winter, and your Christmas tree can help protect your plants from both. Cut off the larger branches at the bottom of the tree and use them to shield your broadleaf evergreen shrubs while also protecting them from wildlife, or use the smaller branches as mulch to protect your perennials.
Your old Christmas tree can also make the ideal feeder and haven for birds. Station the tree by your feeders as a landing place for smaller birds like chickadees and finches or place it in more of a secluded area with popcorn and cranberry garlands for a festive winter accent that will draw the most beautiful birds to your backyard.
Bring the fresh scent of balsam indoors by sewing scrap pieces of fabric together and fill them with pine needles. These fragrant sachets can be placed in drawers or closets to keep them smelling fresh all season long. Also, don't forget that dried out sprigs from your tree can be used in a home woodstove or fireplace as kindling.