LETHBRIDGE, AB – If you’re looking to prolong the holiday spirit this year, consider gifting your Christmas tree back to wildlife.
That’s the suggestion from the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
National Conservation Science Manager Samantha Knight says leaving your tree in the backyard over the winter can provide many benefits to wildlife including serving as a habitat for birds especially on cold nights and during storms.
You can even redecorate it with pinecones filled with peanut butter, strings of peanuts and suet for birds to enjoy.
“Evergreens offer a safe place for birds to rest while they visit your feeder,” says Knight. “Another benefit is that if you leave the tree in your garden over the summer, it will continue to provide habitat for wildlife and improve your soil as it decomposes.”
Knight says the tree branches and trunk can provide habitat, shelter wildflowers, hold moisture and help build the soil, mimicking what happens with dead trees and branches in a forest.
If stashing your Christmas tree in the backyard doesn’t interest you, you can always leave it out first thing on Saturday, Jan. 15 and it’ll be collected, chipped and turned into mulch thanks to the City of Lethbridge Christmas Tree Recycling Program.