6 Creative Things To Do With Your Old Christmas Tree - Backyard Boss
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

6 Creative Things To Do With Your Old Christmas Tree

The holiday season is almost over, which means saying goodbye to the beloved Christmas tree you put up in your home. But just because it’s time for the tree to come down doesn’t mean it has to go into the trash can.

Instead of tossing out your old Christmas tree, why not give it a second life as something new and creative? After all, ‘tis the season to be crafty! Discover six creative things to do with your old Christmas tree.

Replanting Your Potted Christmas Tree

Potted Christmas tree
Image credits: BublikHaus via Shutterstock

Replanting your potted Christmas tree outside is an excellent way to extend the life of your once-festive holiday decoration and turn it into an outdoor focal point. After the holidays, you can take a few precautions to help ensure that your old tree survives and thrives when replanted in your garden or landscape.

First, you’ll want to gradually introduce the tree to colder temperatures. Before planting it outside, move your potted Christmas tree to a sheltered location, such as a porch or garage, for at least a few days. Doing so will help acclimate the tree and lessen shock from the transition from warm indoors to freezing outdoor temperatures.

Once you are ready to plant, leave any burlap or strapping intact. It will help keep the root ball together. If there is a plastic covering over the top of your tree, cut off the cord and roll it down halfway before planting. Then discard the container from the base of your tree before planting it.

Now, fill in the dirt you dug out for it. After, mulch your tree and water it regularly. 

DIY Bird Feeder

Bird in an old Christmas tree
Image credits: Paul Reeves Photography via Shutterstock

Put your old Christmas tree to good use this holiday season and create a bird feeder for all the feathered friends in your backyard!

First, dig a hole about 9 inches across and 12 inches deep before the ground freezes. This hole will stabilize your feeder structure in the winter months. If you don’t have time to dig a hole, tie the tree to a small trunk of another tree to keep it standing upright. You could also put cinder blocks around it for extra support.

Next, get creative with homemade birdseed ornaments! Dip pinecones or stale bread into coconut oil, peanut butter, softened suet, etc. Then roll them in birdseed for a tasty treat for your feathered friends.

Now all that’s left is to set up the bird feeder, attach your ornaments to the tree, and wait for the birds to come! Sit back and enjoy the show as they feast at their new buffet.

Shred or Compost It    

dried pine needles with freshly fallen needles on top
Image credits: Matthew Ball via Unsplash       

Shredding your Christmas tree is simple and can be done with a wood chipper. The resulting small clippings make excellent mulch for shrubs and pathways. Even better, these chips are full of essential nutrients that will feed plants in your garden as they break down over time.

If you don’t have a wood chipper, ask your local nursery or municipality if they offer shredding services.

Alternatively, you can cut your old Christmas tree into small pieces to add to your compost bin. The natural fibers will help break down the other organic matter in your compost, creating rich soil for your garden. This adds nutrients to the soil while preventing weed growth.


Winter campfire couple roasting marshmallows in firepit for smores at ski holiday resort. Asian happy woman relaxing after ski.
Image credits: Maridav via Shutterstock

If you have an outdoor fire pit, you can turn your old Christmas tree into firewood! It’s a great way to ensure your tree keeps warming up your cold winter evenings. Plus, it ignites quickly, so it’s perfect for kindling or instant fires.

However, pine isn’t the best wood for burning indoors because it tends to create creosote build-up, so reserve it for outdoor activities only.

Additionally, the sap content in spruce trees can also cause creosote to build up in your chimney and stove, increasing the risk of a dangerous fire. Burning spruce can also produce a lot of ash and soot, leading to the need for more frequent cleaning of your chimney. Unless you’re looking for a quick burn and an easy clean, it’s best to avoid using spruce trees as firewood. Instead, try an option listed below.

On the other hand, the high resin content of cedar makes this wood easier to light, but also creates a more volatile fire. So, if you decide to use your cedar tree as firewood, don’t forget a fire screen!

If your Christmas tree was a fir tree, then you’re in luck. Fir trees have high resin content and low ignite temperature, making them the perfect type of wood for starting fires. Additionally, burning a fir tree will provide a pleasant aroma in the home when lit.

Start by chopping up the branches and stacking them neatly near the firepit, so they’re easy to access when you need them.

The best part about using your old Christmas tree for firewood is that it’s completely sustainable and eco-friendly.

Create Art

Christmas Wreath Making Instructional Photo
Image credits: Daniel DeLucia via Shutterstock

Transform those old and dried-out Christmas trees into beautiful works of art! With a few tools and paints, you can jazz up your home with festive wall decorations or even create giftable items for friends and family.

You can use the trunk slices to make tree ring coasters and add colorful paint or glitter to dress it up further.

You can also use your old Christmas trees to make wreaths. Glue the slices onto a ring frame and embellish them with silk flowers, ribbons, or buttons. You can also use them to make centerpieces! Use the branches for an added flair. 

Remember that resin will ooze from the wood, so seal it first with lacquer, polyurethane, or varnish. With a bit of imagination and creative flair, those old Christmas trees can become beautiful works of art!

Animal Shelter

Koi pond with evergreens
Image credits: Jamie Hooper via Shutterstock

One creative way to repurpose your old Christmas tree is by using it to create a shelter for wildlife. Placing the tree in a pond or near water will provide an ideal habitat for fish. Additionally, the surface of fallen trees can provide algae, a vital food source for aquatic creatures that live in large ponds.

It can also attract insects like dragonflies and butterflies, and birds, allowing them to take refuge from predators.

By opting to upcycle your Christmas tree instead of tossing it away, you’ll create a more hospitable environment for local wildlife. It’s a beautiful way to show appreciation for the natural world and make a positive difference in your community.

Branch Out

Getting imaginative with how you repurpose items around your home is good for the environment and a fun learning activity for the whole family. With these six creative things to do with your old Christmas tree, you now have fun, sustainable activities for your family that help reduce waste whenever possible

So don’t wait — get started today! Who knows what awesome projects you might come up with? Good luck, and happy upcycling!