We are on the Bah Humbug side of the Holidays and didn't even put up a tree this year. But we had visited our friend Toni at Possumwood Acres, which is a wildlife rehabilitation center that works mainly with birds, squirrels and other small mammals. When we lived closer we were able to volunteer when the rescue was just getting started and now that we have moved away we try to drop in a couple of times a year to help and bring donations. I had visited at Thanksgiving since we were home for the Holiday and one of the requests was for Christmas Trees. They use them in the large Raptor enclosures as well as smaller cages as well as wind breaks for the water foul.
We sent out a request on facebook closer to Christmas to our friends to let us know when they would be done with their trees, so we could take them back down to Toni. Then about a week before Christmas we were at Tractor Supply and they had a large group of trees on clearance, we asked what happens when the holiday is over. They said they would be disposed of unless we were interested in taking them off of their hands. We left our information and not long after we received a call to come pick up the left over trees.
We loaded up the trees, a few very old things from our freezer ( for the buzzards), and two boxes of collards from our garden for the swans and headed over to Hubert. Everyone was very happy to see see us arrive and with a few helping hand we unloaded quickly.
It was one of the few really cold days we've had lately, so we didn't spend as much time hanging around as we normally would have but I can share a few pictures of the residents with you.
This is just one of the owls that have been brought in injured recently, lots of owls and other large birds come in, are rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
This is a "Tea Cup" Pig that out grew the cuteness and was put out to defend herself. She's happily digging for nuts the squirrel's have hidden in a safe new home.
This is tucker and he's happy to me sharing Thanksgiving and Christmas with us running around instead of on a plate!
If your looking to upcycle your tree too, here's a couple of ideas for you, just in case you don't have a local wildlife rehab center that is in need of trees.
I'm originally from a coastal county and there was always a call for trees to help shore up the dunes, check with your local park service to see what options are available in your area.
Don't have the ability to haul off your tree, birds would love to enjoy your tree right in your back yard for a bit. Make sure you take off all tinsel and ornaments and set your tree out back. You could even add some bird cakes and other feeders to the tree to bring the local birds to your back yard. Once it dries out it will be easier to break part and dispose of.
Some communities have a recycling program to turn trees into mulch. That's a win win for everyone.
Another option right at home is to turn your tree into a refuge for fish! Do you or a friend have a pond then dump it right into the water. It creates a great place for fish to hide, provides a safe place for young fish or even for fish laying eggs.
There are all kinds of options just google recycling Christmas Trees for your area. I just looked it up for us and came up with lots of interesting options, including the one we did!
Give your tree a chance to make a difference after the Holidays or even think about a live tree for next year!
Thanks for stopping by!