How many handfuls of mulch is made from one Christmas tree?

Four trees in alley

Tree mulchers are crunching all the Christmas trees on curbs and in alleys. The plethora of trees will soon be a handful of wood. How much mulch does one Christmas tree produce? I’m guessing about six handfuls of mulch. What’s your guess?

An internet search yields many articles outlining the benefits of mulching your tree (see below). None share how much mulch is made from one Christmas tree.

I’d like to keep a bag of the wood chips made from my Christmas tree. It would probably still carry that Christmas scent. Eventually, it would be fun to soak the mulch into pulp, and make your own paper! Imagine that. Every year the paper for your Christmas cards could be made from last year’s Christmas tree.

One paper mill almost does it. Creative Loafing in Tampa Bay reports:

In Tomahawk, Wisconsin, the Packaging Corporation of America, a paper mill plant, hires a company to grind up recycled Christmas Trees so that they can use the wood pulp to power their mill. “We use it as a boiler fuel to power our pulp and paper mill plant,” says John Piotrowski, environmental manager at PCA.

How to make paper pulp from a Christmas tree is another question unanswered by the internet. Just when you think the internet has all the answers! Only six Google results for: “christmas tree pulp”.

Aside from turning your christmas tree into pulp for paper, what else can you do with your Christmas tree? You had this tree in your place for a month or so, now what?

14 ways to re-use a Christmas tree

  1. Plant mulch in your garden.
  2. Install branches as windbreaks as a garden cover.
  3. Stand the tree up as a bird sanctuary, decorate with cranberries and popcorn.
  4. Sink the tree in a lake as a fish habitat.
  5. Make influenza medicine with the shikimic acid extracted from the needles. (via Tuscaloosa News)
  6. Create tree fences in marshland.
  7. Paths for hiking trails, along the edges to identify the path.
  8. Edge your garden borders with two-inch discs cut from the trunk.
  9. Make coasters (possibly my favorite. You can have a coaster from every year’s tree. Polyurethane will seal the disc.)
  10. Set it on fire. (not in your place, but somewhere safe)
  11. Break off small branches to provide stake support for your house plants.
  12. Suspend them from wires in a warehouse for art. Like artist Michael Neff.
  13. Bring it to the zoo for the animals, “zebras munch on the needles, squirrel monkeys swing from branch to branch, and otters play games of ‘smell and seek’ with treats hidden in the trees by zookeepers” (via mentalfloss)
  14. Walk down the alley and name each tree. (tomorrow’s blog post)

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