Friday, December 24, 2010

Steal your neighbors' Christmas trees

Starting the day after Christmas, you'll be seeing everyone's Christmas tree in the alleys here in Chicago, or on the curb in the 'burbs.

Here's what I do:

Drag them into your yard and take a good pair of sturdy pruners to trim off the branches. Use the greenery to cover your garden beds now before the coldest part of the winter--they'll act as mulch, add necessary nutrients to the soil, and serve as winter interest in your yard. In the spring, rent a chipper and create your own pine mulch to refurbish the paths.

Save the trunks of the trees to create trellises for beans and peas in the spring.


  1. Doesn't Chicago have a Christmas tree recycling program? Austin has had one for years (now with curbside pickup) and even Las Vegas does (thanks to the Springs Preserve).

    Until then...individual recycling is a great idea.

  2. Yes they do, one of the few citywide recycling programs we've got, so you have to be pretty sneaky to get your hands on the goods.