When we first take it outside, we prop it up outside of my office window and hang treats for the birds and any other critters that dare to crawl out of their warm hiding places looking for a snack. We hang an assortment of items such as pieces of fruit, suet or pinecones filled with peanut butter and bird seed. Even just laying the tree outside in a protected part of the yard can provide shelter for some types of wintering wildlife, including rabbits.
Another use for a leftover Christmas tree is to trim off some of the branches and lay them in the garden as an extra layer of warmth against the cold winter temperatures.
One use that many gardeners never think of is to use their discarded tree as a snow fence to help conserve water in the spring.
This is such a clever idea that I wish I could take credit for it, but I actually read it online on a a website called Thrifty Fun.
The post, entitled Conserve Water with a Snow Fence, suggests that proper placement of your discarded Christmas tree can help you to redirect the springtime snow melt to help water your gardens.
If you live in an area with harsh winters, strong winds and steady snowfall can create a lot of drifting snow. Believe it or not, this presents you with a great opportunity to conserve water. By installing a snow fence, you can effectively capture snow and create drifts in areas where you need additional snow to melt in the spring. You can read the full article here.
When you are ready to dispose of your tree, there are different rules for curbside pickup, depending on where you live. Read Disposing of Christmas Trees in the Metro DC area for more information.