Friday, January 6th is National Take Down Your Christmas Tree Day, and it's a perfect time to remind you of an excellent way to put your old tree to good use. Sure, you can simply leave it on the curb to be picked up along with your trash, but there are much better options. One of the best things you can do with that old tree is to use it to create some new fish habitats.


How Your Old Christmas Tree Helps Fish

Once again this year, the folks at Rend Lake in Illinois will gladly take your old Christmas tree, which they place in the lake to create underwater fish structures. The trees provide feeding areas for fish of all sizes, they also provide a safe refuge for small fish, and perhaps most importantly, they provide excellent fishing spots for you. Of course, you don't have to drive to Rend Lake to do this - you can use your old tree in any body of water that has fish (get permission from the lake's owner first, if it isn't yours).

Rend Lake Facebook/George Gonzalez
Rend Lake Facebook/George Gonzalez

Every time I see this picture, my twisted sense of humor always envisions some kind of Christmas tree mob hit. You know, like "Luca Brasi Sleeps with the Fishes" except for Christmas trees. I think it's the "concrete shoes" that do it to me.

I Shouldn't Have to Say This, But I Will

Just because we all know what happens when you make assumptions, I'm gonna go ahead and remind you that this option does NOT apply to artificial trees. I guess I should also remind you to please remove all of your decorations beforehand - all those things just end up as trash in the lake.

What Else Can I Do With My Old Christmas Tree?

If you don't want to drive to Illinois and you don't have access to a body of water, there are still several other ways to put your old Christmas tree to good use. Here are just a few examples.

  • Mulch With Pine Needles
  • Create a Bird Sanctuary with the Boughs
  • Edge Your Borders with the Trunk
  • Set a Stage for Containers with the Trunk
  • Make Coasters and Trivets with Trunk

These ideas came from, where they have details for these ideas and more.

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