Disposing of your beloved live-cut Christmas tree every year is a tiresome, but necessary duty. One more joyous holiday season is behind you and the new year is waiting in the wings. Pulling down your decorations, storing away your family’s favorite memories, and packing things up for next year is all part of the holiday process. But disposing of a large, live-cut Christmas tree can be quite the chore, made more difficult if your neighborhood has no pick up service. If you’re tired of the dropped needles in the rug, cutting the tree into manageable sections, and the hassle of hauling it to the dump, here are some options to consider now to make this year the last year you have to struggle with this disposal.
PVC Artificial Trees
Currently the most popular type of artificial tree in the United States, PVC trees are made primarily of polyvinyl chloride, a plastic polymer that holds its shape over time and is available in a wide array of colors, heights and styles, simulating any of the popular tree species including Douglas Fire, Whiteland Pine, Blue Spruce, and Mountain Fir. They can be pricey, but typically will last for decades if properly stored off season.
Fiber Optic Trees
Fiber optic trees are a beautiful, bright, pre-lit artificial tree option that utilizes strands of fiber optics, allowing the tree to shine in a wide variety of colors. One of the safest lighting options, fiber optics are heat-free, non-conductive and low voltage, reducing the risk of fire and danger in your home. Fiber optic trees often come with a continuous color-changing option, creating a beautiful light show as a centerpiece to your Christmas decorations.
A really creative and quick option for a crowded space is to simply take a long string of lights and run it in a zig-zag triangle pattern on an open wall in the shape of a tree. You can even hang ornaments from the light string, run a line of tinsel garland or popcorn in an alternating zig-zag across the lights, and top with a festive angel or star. Use removable, damage-free wall fasteners and hooks to avoid leaving a triangle-shaped series of holes in the wall.
What better way to truly embrace the idea of holiday traditions than by replicating a historical option to the standard Christmas tree? Take a stroll though the pages of history with a 19th century German Feather Tree, which uses died or tinted goose feathers held at angles by wire branches, wrapped around a wooden trunk. Prefer something a little more modern? Acquire a 1960’s style aluminum Christmas tree with its foil needles, most commonly available in silver or white. Another whimsical country tradition is to take an antique circular drying rack and hang your ornaments from the bars with varying lengths and colors of ribbon.
Love the look and smell of your live-cut tree, but still hate the shed needles and hassle of disposal? Consider making a live Christmas tree a permanent part of your family. You can designate an evergreen tree outdoors and decorate it for the holidays, using either plastic or other durable ornaments or embracing the natural look with a string of popcorn, cranberries, pine cones and other treats for your local woodland creatures. The other option is to find a relatively slow-growing or small evergreen that can thrive as a potted plant and either grow it indoors year-round or bring an outside potted tree indoors for the holidays. (You don’t have to use a pine, either, especially if you’re in a warmer climate. My family had a Christmas philodendron for a few years!) Be mindful though of your climate and the impact that indoor living might have on a tree that’s already hibernating for the winter. In colder climates, you might need to limit the amount of time that an outdoor tree spends indoors, least it get tricked into thinking it’s seeing an early spring!
Christmas Cat Tree
It might sound odd, but cat trees make excellent alternative Christmas trees. This probably isn’t worth it if you don’t have cats, but if you know your cats are going to climb into any Christmas tree you put up, you might as well make it a welcoming (and safe) place from the start!