As Christmas decorations come down in homes all around Australia, the State’s peak environment group urges people to think about the environment when disposing of their live Christmas tree.
“Recycling live Christmas trees reduces landfill and produces mulch for gardens. Many councils have a green waste recycling service and will happily accept your unwanted Christmas tree,” said Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council.
“Consider giving your Christmas tree a green makeover next year. Live trees absorb carbon as they grow and - if they are grown locally and not transported thousands of kilometres – provide a more sustainable alternative to fake plastic trees.
“A potted tree with a ‘Christmassy’ look will do the double duty of looking great as an indoor Christmas tree and can then continue to grow in its pot outdoors or be planted in the backyard.
“Select a tree that is already showing a tendency to grow in a conical shape and encourage the right shape with appropriate pruning. Rotate the plant to make sure it grows evenly on all sides.
“Douglas Fir or Norway Spruce are popular choices for potted Christmas trees. Many Australian varieties will also look great in pots, including Lillypilly, Bunya Pine and Hoop Pine.
“For a quirky take on a potted Christmas tree try Australia’s very own ‘living fossil’, the Wollemi Pine. But remember, this species is not suitable for planting in a typical suburban garden.
“If you live in a flat or don’t want to plant your potted Christmas tree after use, why not donate it to a family member, friend or local school.
“Take an eco-approach to Christmas one step further by skipping a live tree all together. Unleash your creativity arranging fallen twigs or small branches in a tall vase and decorate with Christmas trim. Or make a modernist statement by purchasing a Christmas tree made of recycled post-consumer waste, which can later be pulped back into paper.
“Start a new tradition next year by planning ahead for a more sustainable Christmas tree option,” Ms Faehrmann said.