What to Do With Christmas Tree Cuttings (10 Ideas)

If you’re like a lot of people, when you get your new Christmas tree home, you want to trim it up to make it look perfect. But what do you do with the Christmas tree cuttings?

We have put together some ideas for you. From decorations to recycling, there’s so many things to do with leftover Christmas tree cuttings.

Keep reading for 10 ideas on what to do with Christmas tree cuttings.

What To Do With Christmas Tree Cuttings

There are lots of things you can do with your leftover Christmas tree trimmings. We have put together 10 ideas to help you to decide what to do with Christmas tree cuttings.

1. Make A Wreath Or Decoration

Wreath hanging on the door
Wreath hanging on the door | image by Elizabeth via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Christmas tree cuttings are a great way to upcycle your Christmas tree and create beautiful decorations for your home. There are many ways to make wreaths and other decorations from Christmas tree cuttings, so get creative and have fun!

To make a wreath, start by tying a length of twine or ribbon around the end of a Christmas tree cutting. Then, start winding the twine or ribbon around the cutting, working your way up the tree towards the top.

Once you reach the top, tie off the twine or ribbon and trim any excess. You can then decorate your wreath with ribbons, bows, berries, pinecones, or anything else you like.

2. Use Branches For Bird Feeders

If you have any extra branches lying around after trimming your Christmas tree, put them to good use by making DIY bird feeders! All you need is a few supplies to create a homemade bird feeder that will bring birds to your yard all year long.

Just use some honey or peanut butter to coat the end of a Christmas tree branch. Roll it in some bird seed, and coat it all with seeds.

You can hang it on your porch or in your garden to attract all kinds of feather friends. You can also drill holes in the branch for more space to stuff with bird treats.

3. Use Pine Needles To Make Your Home Smell Good

Pine needles at the living room corner
Pine needles at the living room corner | image by Loren Kerns via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

If you want your home to smell like Christmas, then consider using pine needles. You can either use them fresh or dried, and they will make your home smell wonderful. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to really boost the scent.

Simply place a few needles in a bowl or vase, and enjoy the festive fragrance! Bark shavings can also produce the wonderful smells of Christmas. You can boil pine needles and wood shavings from your tree to make your home smell amazing during the holidays.

4. Compost The Cuttings

Pile christmas tree
Pile christmas tree | image: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

When it’s time to take down the Christmas tree, don’t just throw the cuttings away. With a little effort, you can turn them into nutrient-rich compost for your garden. Start by chopping the cuttings into small pieces.

This will help them break down more quickly in the compost bin. Add the cuttings to your compost bin or pile, and mix in some other organic material like leaves or grass clippings.

Keep the compost moist but not soggy, and turn it regularly to aerate it and help speed up the decomposition process. In 6-12 months, you should have rich, finished compost to add to your garden beds and pots.

5. Use Cuttings To Decorate Christmas Gifts

If you have a live Christmas tree, you can use the cuttings to decorate gifts! You can use them to decorate with a few sprigs on a wrapped present. For smaller gifts, cut a small piece of a branch and tape it under your bow or ribbon.

For larger gifts, you can put a larger piece. This is a great way to recycle your tree cuttings and add a personal touch to your holiday gifts.

6. Build An Animal Habitat

When you have finished trimming your Christmas tree, don’t throw away the cuttings! Instead, use them to build an animal habitat in your backyard. This is a great project for kids and adults alike, and it will provide a safe place for local wildlife to live.

Use a glue gun and glue pieces together to create a bird house or squirrel den. Hang it in a tree and give your backyard wildlife the perfect home.

7. Use For Fire Kindling Or Firewood

If you have a fireplace, you can use your Christmas tree cuttings as firewood. You can also use them to start a fire in a wood stove or outdoor fire pit.

Smaller pieces can be broken up and dried for kindling to start your fire. Larger cuttings can be cleaned of their needles and used as logs.

8. Use In Raised Garden Beds

Raised bed garden
Raised bed garden | image by Alachua County via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Raised garden beds are a great way to grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and using Christmas tree cuttings as mulch or compost can help provide nutrients and structure to the soil. If you are making beds for a spring garden, you can use your Christmas tree to fill the bottom before placing soil in.

This is a technique Germans call hügelkultur or “hill culture.” It’s creating a foundation of rotting wood to feed the soil.

9. Propagate Some Of The Cuttings And Plant In Your Garden

Another option for Christmas tree cuttings to propagate them and then plant in your yard or garden. There’s just a few steps to doing this. First strip off any needles and leaves from the bottom few inches of the cutting.

Then, using a sharp knife or pruning shears, make a clean cut at a 45-degree angle just below a node. A node is a raised area on the stem where leaves or buds form. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder will help encourage root growth.

You can keep it in water or moist soil until it grows roots. Water well and place in a warm, sunny spot out of direct wind. In a few weeks, your cutting should have rooted and be ready to transplant into your garden!

10. Donate For Recycling

Finally you can always take your Christmas tree cuttings to a local recycling center that accepts tree cuttings. Most centers will recycle them into mulch or compost.

Another option is to donate the tree to a local Boy Scout troop or other organization that uses them for scouting projects or other events. The scouts can use the trees for things like building campfires or Leave No Trace activities.