Thoughts will soon be turning (if they haven’t already!) to disposal of this year’s old Christmas Tree… and there are many ways that it can be put to good use, especially for your garden and it’s wildlife.

   Goldcrest: Steve Round (

Shake off and collect up the pine needles to use as a mulch for acid loving plants, they will appreciate the needle nutrients as they decompose. Branches can be cut and placed in tucked away places as a habitat for invertebrates and if needles are still attached, laid flat on the ground to protect plants from extreme cold through Jan and Feb. The trunk can be cut into logs to create a wood pile or you could get the whole thing chipped down into a wood mulch for the borders or to lay as a bark path or covering. See more details from Gardener's World online and  Saga.

Hiring a wood- chipper is approximately £70 a day  or weekend from places like hire station or they cost around £200-£600 to buy. Alternatively, you could get in touch with your local tree surgeon to see if he can shred or chop your tree. 

To keep the festive mood going for longer, the tree could be propped up somewhere outside and decorated it with bird feeders, hanging fruit and fat-filled pine cones for the birds. They may also appreciate the shelter from the wind that it offers and you may appreciate some extra greenery to look out onto at this brown, twiggy time of year.

You can enjoy a fire from your chopped up Christmas tree on the fire-pit / bonfire outside but it is not advised to burn them inside as they produce a lot of flammable natural oils and creosote.

Finally, for pure, joy, see this video from Colchester zoo filmed last January with the animals enjoying foraging in their new Christmas tree toys!!

Wishing you all a safe and happier new year in 2021 from the team at the Flatford Wildlife Garden.

The Flatford Wildlife Garden is now closed for the rest of the winter season 2021. Details of re-opening in 2021 will be posted on this blog and the Flatford Wildlife Garden We­­­bsite.