(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

Undated Google photo of Safeway (20871 Fraser Hwy.).
Safeway, FreshCo, Shoppers and three Langley schools record COVID-19 cases

Two COVID-positive staff reported at same Safeway within days

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:30 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Westbound Highway 1 crash blocking left lane in Langley

Incident at 264th Street slowing morning commuters

Aldergrove legion branch #265. (Aldergrove Star files)
Final phase of $14 million federal support fund rolls out to legion branches

Branches still reeling from pandemic receive remaining $3.8 million in emergency funds

Italian flat leaf parsley can be used in pesto, replacing fresh basil. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
ON COOKING: Chef Dez does parsley pesto

Pesto traditionally has fresh basil but it can also be made with another fresh herb

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The majority of city council votes in favour of this design for a new Salmon Arm flag on Monday, May 10, 2021. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Majority of council salutes new flag for Salmon Arm

Two councillors raise concerns about logo being too corporate for a flag

(Pixabay)
B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

Trina Hunt’s remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Trina Hunt’s family appeals to killer to step forward after remains found in Hope

Cousins also ask Hope residents to think back to weekend Port Moody woman was in the area

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The majority of city council votes in favour of this design for a new Salmon Arm flag on Monday, May 10, 2021. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Time for a change: Salmon Arm’s ‘corporate’ city flag is on the way out

Two councillors raise concerns about logo being too corporate for a flag

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receives his COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccination in Ottawa, Friday, April 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
75% of Canadians need 1st vaccine dose to have more normal summer: Trudeau

The country is on track to hit a major milestone on the road to COVID-19 herd immunity Tuesday, with 40% vaccinated with a 1st dose

A black bear, dubbed Huckleberry by Deep Cove, B.C., residents died on July 31, 2020, after becoming conditioned to food and humans. (North Shore Black Bear Society photo)
Fewer dead bears, more fines: Advocates call for B.C. conservation officer reform

B.C. Bear Alliance wants to see body cameras on conservation officers after more than 600 black bears were killed this past year

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Drug users were shut out of Vancouver’s decriminalization proposal, critics say, demanding redo

The coalition is asking the city to raise the proposed drug thresholds from a 3-day supply

Most Read