With Christmas now over, many of us will soon be taking down our fresh cut trees and either placing them at the curb for collection, or returning them to one of the local tree depots. Christmas trees can be put to great use after the holidays as they provide excellent cover for your backyard birds.
Placing your tree outside after the holidays will provide your feathered friends with the perfect spot to get out of January’s squalls, cold winds, and a safe hiding spot from raptors and other backyard predators. By laying your tree down on its side, or standing it up in the snow, birds including: Blue Jays, Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-capped Chickadees, and Northern Cardinals will quickly use it as a source of shelter. I like to place mine near the feeder so that the birds can quickly dive into it if one of the local Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned Hawks takes a swipe at them. Just be sure that it is positioned far enough away that the squirrels can’t use it to gain access to your feeder.
If you put up an artificial tree rather than a fresh cut one but you wish to provide cover in your backyard, you have several options. Ask a family member for their tree, watch for neighbours to place theirs out on garbage day, or drive to your local tree depot and pick one up. I love the added cover Christmas trees provide in my yard and often collect trees from family, neighbours, and the depot, as well as placing mine outside.
After the snow melts and the new growth starts to reappear in your yard, your reused Christmas trees can then be placed to the curb with your other yard materials when collection resumes in the spring. This will save you the hassle of taking it to one of the local Christmas tree depots and having to vacuum all those fallen needles out of your car. By placing it out with yard materials and not your regular garbage it will keep it out of the landfill and your tree will be mulched up and reused as compost at a later time. Not only will you be helping the birds, you will be helping the environment.