(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

West Shore RCMP arrested a 42-year-old man April 11 following numerous reports of someone firing a rifle in a Malahat campground. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP arrest man after shots fired at Malahat campground

Police received numerous reports of a man firing a rifle outside his camper trailer

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
Pacheedaht Nation says activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Pacheedaht is concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Driver who crashed into Uptown Walmart likely suffering mental health crisis, police say

Man in his early 20s drove through a parkade wall, no serious injuries reported

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. and Victoria’s overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Additional COVID-19 exposures have been reported at Arbutus Global Middle School and Mount Doug Secondary School. (Google Streetview)
Additional COVID-19 exposures reported at two Saanich schools

New dates of exposure added to Arbutus Global Middle School and Mount Doug Secondary School

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

The Campbell River Gun Club outdoor range is located on Argonaut Road west of Campbell River. CRGC/Facebook photo
Campbell River Gun Club range shut down after complaints of stray bullets

Neighbour says bullets hit caretaker’s RV and shattered a glass panel on his deck

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s Green Point Campground saw an unprecedented flurry of reservations last week. (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve photo)
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve campground sees ‘unprecedented’ interest

Reservations being accepted as Green Point Campground scheduled to open May 1

Most Read