On the Twelfth Night – the last day of Christmas – many of us will be taking down our Christmas trees and leaving them out on the street ready for collection. But did you know these prickly spruces, firs and pines can be used in your garden to help wildlife and save money?


In this guide by BBC Countryfile Magazine, we reveal five great ways that you can use your old Christmas tree in the garden.

Women in garden in winter

Five ways to use your Christmas tree in the garden

Make woodchip mulch

Wheel barrow and shovel working with landscape mulch
Woodchip mulch helps soil retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing/Credit: Getty

Put your tree through a shredder (you can hire a shredder/chipper or borrow one from a friend), stack the chips at the back of the garden for a few months to rot down, then use them as mulch around trees and shrubs.

Make climbing frames

Runner beans growing in a vegetable garden on a wigwam made of wooden sticks
Grow runner beans up your wigwam/Credit: Getty

To make your garden wigwam, strip the longest, sturdiest branches, store them somewhere dry, then use them in summer to support climbing plants such as beans and hops.

Create a shelter for wildlife

A foraging bank vole among logs
Log piles offer a refuge for wildlife/Credit: Getty

Cut the branches off your Christmas tree then saw the trunk into short lengths. Stack the the branches and logs somewhere in your garden. They are a great refuge for bugs, small rodents and other wildlife.

Make a dead hedge

Hedge made from old wood
Make a dead hedge from old trees/Credit: Getty

The branches from your tree (and neighbour’s trees) can be woven between vertical posts to create a wildlife-friendly boundary.

Make a bird feeder

Sparrow on frosty log bird feeder
You old tree trunks can be used to make bird feeders/Credit: Getty

To make your bird feeder, cut a length from the trunk of the tree and drill it with 2cm-wide holes. Stuff a suet and bird feed mix into the holes and hang it in a tree.


Daniel Graham of COuntryfile magazine on a hike with wet hair and blue coat and hills in background
Daniel GrahamOutdoors editor, BBC Countryfile Magazine

Danny is the outdoors editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine, responsible for commissioning, editing and writing articles that offer ideas and inspiration for exploring the UK countryside.