GARDENING: How to reuse your Christmas tree

Now that the holidays are over you may be trying to think of a sustainable way to discard your Christmas tree (if you purchased a real one).
You can mulch with the pine needles from the trees. They dry quickly and decompose slowly, making them an excellent moisture and mold free mulch.
You can also create a bird sanctuary with the boughs. Place your tree in its stand outdoors, fill it with bird feeders and other treats for birds to enjoy.
You can also insulate perennials with the boughs. Simply cut off the boughs and lay them over flower beds to help protect them from frosty weather.
By cutting the trunk into 2-inch discs and set them into the soil you can edge flower beds or walkways.
An easy and fun craft could also be turning the trunk into coasters. You will cut the trunk into thin slabs, sand them smooth and apply a thin coat of polyurethane to keep the sap off tables and glassware.
Hopefully with these few fun ideas you can get some extra use out of your Christmas tree.
For more information, call the AgriLife office at 498-4071 in Odessa or at 686-4700 in Midland, email jeanette.castanon@ag.tamu.edu or visit aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu or westtexasgardening.org.