Preparedness blog

7 Creative Pine Tree Uses After Christmas

By Ready Expert
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Before you put your Christmas tree on the curb to be picked up and tossed aside, make sure you know what you could be missing out on. The typical holiday pine tree can become a great asset to your garden, health or cooking needs. Pine trees can be used for medicinal purposes, cooking, gardens and many other things. Check out this list of pine tree uses below and see what you can do with your old Christmas tree. But one thing’s for sure - don’t just throw it away!

Medicinal
Before you toss your tree away, make sure that you extract as much sap as you can. Pine sap is a great medicinal tool that has antibacterial properties. You can use pine sap to seal wounds.

Pine Tree UsesChipper for Mulch
Many people will tell you to use your tree as mulch for the garden but you need to be careful with this. If you’re going to use your pine tree as mulch, you may need to clear off the pine needles. Since pine needles are slightly acidic, they work best with plants that need acidic soil - like blueberries, rhododendrons, gardenias and periwinkles.

Garden Cover
If you’re growing winter plants in your garden, you may need a covering to protect them from huge snow drifts or other extreme weather incidents. An old pine tree is a great way to do that. Not only does it protect your plants, but it will also decompose and add nutrients to your soil.

Firewood and Fire Starters
Allowing the wood to dry out turns into a great source of firewood for your stove or fireplace. You can also use the sap from pine trees as a firestarter. Branches of pine trees also make great torches if wrapped correctly.

Pine Needle Tea
Some people have even made tea with pine needles. The tea is great for fighting bacterial infections. It’s recommended that you add about 10 pine needles for every cup of tea. Start by bringing 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Break apart the pine needles and add to the water. Turn off the heat and allow it to steep for 5-10 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir in honey to sweeten. You can strain out the needles if you would like. Do not add excessive amounts of pine needles however, in that it can be hazardous to your health.

Thickener
Grind up the wood and pine cones and use them as a natural thickener like flour and corn starches. The inner bark of the pine tree is actually very nutritious and full of Vitamin C. A helpful tool that you can use in an emergency survival situation.

What do you do with your old Christmas tree?
Comment below to tell us what you do with your old pine trees and how others can use them for different purposes. Share the knowledge!

12 years ago
Comments
Erika
12 years ago at 4:07 AM
The thing to remember with all the advice is that most Christmas trees are not pine. They are spruce or fir. Spruce pitch can be eaten, but I wouldn't recommend it! As a whole, all softwood will still burn marvelously, but needles are better as a bonfire than a wood stove additive.
Dan
12 years ago at 5:14 AM
Sink your trees in your ponds to provide cover and habitat for fish production.
Jeff Nieland
12 years ago at 5:25 AM
I leave the tree in the stand, drag it outside, and set it up in a place in the yard that is readily viewable from a window. I string popcorn, berries, and pieces of fruit and redecorate the tree. The birds love it and I love watching the birds. At my place the deer even come up and get some free munchies.
Jeff
12 years ago at 6:02 AM
Great for brush piles in lakes to give you a good fishing spot but check local regulations about this. Do NOT use in small farm ponds. Great for animal habitat, just put it in the woods. Yes, I use to work for a fisheries and wildlife department.
Woolval
12 years ago at 6:03 AM
Way back, way WAY back, when I was a young kid, we would round up dozens of discarded Christmas trees and drag them to an empty field. Then we'd pile them up to make two Christmas tree forts, about 30 feet apart. Then, being brilliant kids, we would get in out forts and hurl pine cones at each other!! Amazingly, we still have all our eyes... LOL!! Good memories!!
Reid
12 years ago at 9:55 AM
Bundle them up and sink them in the pond for Crappie habitat
cindy
12 years ago at 10:16 AM
I live in Oregon, the capital of Christmas trees. A huge majority of trees cut and sold from here are FIR. I think everyone needs to find out what kind of cut tree you bought before you actually consume or burn in your fireplace.
Jeff
12 years ago at 10:35 PM
I do have a concern, most "Retail" trees are painted with flame retardant chemicals. I don't know what chems are used but would probably not want to drink or eat any part of said tree. The scotch pines on the big box store lots were painted Extra Greeeeen this year, so the flame retardant was heavy on those . Thanks
Practical Parsimony
12 years ago at 11:21 PM
Beware! Christmas trees have all sorts of chemicals sprayed on them. I would never eat or burn a Christmas tree in a fire indoors.
PJ
12 years ago at 5:24 AM
As mentioned above, buddy of mine used a couple dozen as cover in his newly dug fish pond. They floated for a while but eventually sank.
Lex
12 years ago at 7:29 AM
In San Diego we used to take them to the Wild Animal Park and they would put them in different exhibits for the animals to enjoy.
naomi
12 years ago at 11:32 AM
If you live near beaches with erosion damage from Sandy, they are collecting trees to be used in the dune renovations. Check with local municipalities.
woodee
12 years ago at 8:43 AM
If you're going to tell us how to steep tea, would you please tell us how to "extract as much sap as you can"?
Stacey
12 years ago at 11:50 AM
Important: Never burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove. Pines, firs and other evergreens have a high content of flammable turpentine oils. Burning the tree may contribute to creosote buildup and risk a chimney fire.
pete
12 years ago at 6:20 PM
I leave it on the side of the road.
Lia Jacobsen
12 years ago at 11:26 PM
We tie it to a tree outside and decorate it for the birds and animals too. We smear pine cones with peanut butter and roll them in birdseed and hang them, along with the popcorn and cranberry strands that were on it when it was decorated. Hanging apples and pears make great ornaments too. The birds, squirrels and deer all love it and it can get quite crowded out there! We even had some turkeys show up. We keep the strands higher up for the birds and then scatter popcorn and berries on the ground for the deer. They like the branches too. It's an easy and fun project to do with kids and grandkids and a great way to bring wildlife close enough for the kids to observe and learn. You can also get some awesome photos! Happy new year!
Pat
12 years ago at 1:56 PM
Just heard that goats love to eat them! when you are done with the trees? I would be careful even about that, if the trees have been sprayed
Kathy Underwood
10 years ago at 1:49 PM
I think the best idea is setting it up for the birds etc. to benefit from. I would also try to buy trees with a root ball to be planted, but this is expensive, but I like it better than killing a tree!
EastTenn
10 years ago at 6:34 PM
Burning pine in of itself does not cause creosote in your chimney. Burning wood at low temp. such as green or wet wood or closing your damper to make it last longer will. Although for the most part, pound per pound all wood gives the same amount of btu given the same moisture content, pine actually burns a little hotter due to the pine tar. So if it is good and dry, you do not have to worry about creosote in your chimney.
al rey
9 years ago at 7:45 AM
Just throw it out back. We have multiple deer that have been eating on it, several times a day, for the past month. It is the only food that we provide.
Pat
8 years ago at 5:56 AM
We have Balsam furs around here. With the great smell on them I had the kids fill the end of an old sock with as many needles as they could then sow them shut and let it dry. Instant Balsam scent bag so they can enjoy the smell all year.
Terri
8 years ago at 4:17 PM
We have several acres and part of the back yard is fenced. I throw the Christmas trees over the fence. They make a wind break and every winter I see deer laying behind the trees during snow and wind storms.
Caleb
5 years ago at 7:34 AM
Idk about everyone else but me and my significant other had just set up our first tree last night which believe it or not is white pine, great thread and don’t forget to water your trees with sugar water Happy Holidays!