Jobs for January: recycle your Christmas tree

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If you had a real tree for Christmas, now’s the time to recycle it. Most councils will take away trees for shredding in the weeks after Christmas. Check with your local refuse department to see what their policy is regarding collection. If they don’t recycle trees and you can’t take it to your local recycling centre, another option is to repurpose the tree yourself.

1.     Remove any branches that still have lots of needles on them. Cut these up into small pieces or use a shredder if you have one. Pop them into a black bin liner or old dustbin and leave them to rot down in a shady, damp corner as you would with leafmould. They’ll take a while to decompose – six months to a year - but will eventually make a lovely acidic mulch for ericaceous plants.

2.     Any large branches can be cut down into smaller sections and used to make a bug hotel or gathered together in a shady corner or by a pond to create a wildlife habitat.

3.     The branchless trunk could be reused as a fence post or sawn into sections and used to edge a path. This works particularly well under trees to create a woodland look.

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