Rumor has it that there is a forgotten final verse in the old German folk song “O Tannenbaum” that was never officially translated, but in English would go something like this: “O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, now what the heck am I going to do with you?”
Okay. There’s no such rumor, but these would be the best lyrics to end the carol, as it’s definitely what folks with Christmas trees are thinking a day or two past Christmas, as their branches start to wilt and needles make their descent to the floor. Time to go, Tannenbaum. Get thee to a tree-cyclery!
There are lots of great ways to recycle and reuse Christmas trees, a practice now known as “tree-cycling.” The bulk of the tree can be chopped up or chipped to use as mulch, and/or the lumber can be saved and used for building projects. Planet Green has 5 Creative Christmas Tree Recycling Ideas, for those interested in some crafty ideas and home decor.
Number 3 on the above list, making tree trunk coasters, just happens to be an in.gredients favorite! Most Christmas tree trunks have just the right girth, that when sliced into 1″ to 2″ slabs, a cup or mug will sit comfortably on top. Tip: For sappy trees, apply eco-friendly wood stain once slabs have been cut to prevent table tops from getting sticky. For drier wood, this step can be skipped unless a stained look is preferred.
If you’re ready to part ways with your Tannenbaum altogether, the good news is many cities offer some sort of tree recycling service. If you’re an Austinite and you already use the city’s garbage and recycling services, all you have to do is leave your tree at the curb beginning on 27 December 2011 (that’s today). It’ll be taken away to be mulched so long as you follow these guidelines. Residents without city garbage and recycling services can take their trees directly to Zilker Park to be mulched. Dates, times, and more information on Christmas tree mulching is available here.
(image: Mattcha’s Blog)