|All decorations are off?|
|Looks sad, |
but it's easy to move.
Our Christmas tradition is to leave our tree up through Epiphany, all 12 days of Christmas. In years before we started cutting our own tree, that could be a messy experience when taking down the decorations and moving it outside.
More recently, rather than having the town recycle the entire tree, we have been cutting off the branches indoors and slipping them into a big plastic bag. Cutting the branches in this way allows one final inspection for missing ornaments.
The branch-less tree is now much easier to take out of the stand and move outside. As for the branches, these make an excellent winter mulch. They shade the ground and reduce the affects of freezing and thawing. In the spring they are easy to remove.
|The shallow-growing Heuchera, under these branches, are|
susceptible to frost heaves. A good winter mulch reduces this effect.
|Branches over the German Irises. In the spring |
I just pull away the branches and the Irises are ready to go.
For the rest of my winter mulching I will spread out the remainder of my chopped up leaves from this past autumn. These I will allow to decompose in place to build the soil.
If your tree is already out of the house, it's not too late to harvest some of the branches for use as a convenient winter mulch.