Christmas Tree Afterlife Will Delight Wildlife

After Christmas, when your tree has served a charming tradition, your tree can have an afterlife as protection for the wildlife.


Here, at Helen’s Haven, we put our tree in the Mixed Border to go form hanging glitzy ornaments inside to tweet treats outside.
Making Tweet Treats: Gather the kids, birdseed, cranberries, bagels, peanut butter and string. Spend a couple hours creating treats for your birds

Detail of Lily's tweet treat

Other “ornaments” to hang include orange halves, popcorn garland, and suet balls.


When the birds come to the tree for tweets, they will also find cover.   Whether the tree is upright in the yard or lain on its side, the birds will enjoy a quick escape from prey and the elements.  Christmas trees provide cover as a whole tree or with the side limbs snipped away and piled for a wildlife brush pile.


A tree erected downwind of the prevailing wind can offer your bird friends some protection from the cold, desiccating winds.

Come spring when the foliage returns, winds settle down, and natural food sources abound, your tree can be chipped and turned into mulch for the garden or material to delineate paths.

A Christmas tree’s afterlife will be the birds winter delight!

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum



  1. Jen said

    Love this idea! I’m doing Project Feederwatch this year and have some feeders hung on my deck. I’m thinking I may just put the tree out there after Xmas and let the birds “use” it. I bet they’d love a protected spot to hang out close to their food source.

  2. Les said

    Great minds…

    This morning I filmed my regular TV spot and the topic was getting kids involved with nature by doing things like making bird feeders. Apple halves covered in peanut butter and rolled in bird seed, then hung from trees. Funny coincidence isn’t it.

  3. Carole said

    Well, since this is pretty much the post I intended to write today and didn’t get to, I just linked from my site to here because you did such a great job!

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Merry Christmas Helen. If I had a real tree I’d do this. My artificial tree is 17 years old this year and looks almost as good as ever. Have a great holiday.

  5. Stevie said

    Wonderful post – I’ll try this with my nephews one of these days. They said they’ve never seen a woodpecker so a nice fruit and nut one will bring them some Northern Flickers for sure!

  6. Stevie, your nephews will love doing this project and the rewards of the visitors coming will give them a great since of accomplishment. I have a peanut feeder and as soon as it is up, the woodpeckers come. I think I’ll get the kids to do a nut one after the holidays. Happy Holidays, Stevie!

  7. Our birds would think they died and gone to birdy heaven!

  8. My first thought after seeing “hang tweet treats” was “I wonder what Helen’s doing with Twitter??”

    I don’t feed the birds here. They can fly and I can’t. ;~P

  9. Janet said

    Your kids look like they are working serious business…….and having fun while doing it! We did a lot of birdseed things when the kids were little.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family! Hope we get another chance to get together in 2010.

  10. joey said

    A delightful post, Helen, and beautiful reminder of gifts for our treasured wild life. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and joyful New Year!

  11. Gail said

    Helen, I don’t have sweet little children or grandchildren to help me make treats for the birds…but I will anyway! Maybe my grownup son can be talked into this activity! Have a good holiday! I’ve loved meeting you and reading your posts this year! gail

  12. Gail me too..Merry Christmas! H.

  13. […] Christmas Tree Afterlife for Wildlife […]

  14. […] Christmas Tree Afterlife Will Delight Wildlife (Gardening With Confidence) […]

  15. […] I meant to write today, really I did. But I was caught up in Holiday preparations and am just now seeing that Helen Yoest has come pretty close to writing the post that I intended to present to you today. […]

  16. […] I meant to write today, really I did. But I was caught up in Holiday preparations and am just now seeing that Helen Yoest has come pretty close to writing the post that I intended to present to you today. […]

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