Having a live Christmas tree in your home during the holidays makes the season more magical. The smell of fresh pine and branches covered in twinkling lights makes it difficult to say goodbye to your special holiday centerpiece after the season ends. However, your glistening tree doesn’t have to end up on the curb. Here are 6 creative and eco-friendly ways to recycle your Christmas tree:

Mulch your garden with pine needles: Your home garden will benefit from the loose pine needles that fall off your tree. Pine needles make great mulch because they decompose slowly, provide a great amount of moisture, and add acid to soil. Acid-loving plants like ferns, hydrangeas and dogwoods will stay healthy and flourish with added pine needles.  

Cut the trunk into discs: Cut your tree’s trunk into disc-shaped pieces. You can use these discs to make coasters, ornaments, or edging for your garden. Create natural and beautiful borders around plants and other items. 

Make branches into potpourri: If you love the smell of fresh pine in your home during the holiday season, prolong the scent by using your Christmas tree branches to make potpourri. You can find simple potpourri recipes online if you’ve never made it before.   

Burn the wood: Who wouldn’t want to light up their fire pit for roasting marshmallows? Chop up your tree’s trunk and branches to turn it into firewood. Before lighting it, be sure the wood is completely dry and keep it outdoors. Burning the wood indoors can get very hot and cause a fire hazard.

Make a bird feeder: Use your tree’s branches to make a bird feeder for your backyard. You can coat the branches in in peanut butter and dip them in bird seed!

Make a habitat: Cut up your Christmas tree and place the pieces in a local lake or pond to give fish and other creatures a place to make their home or hide. Make sure your tree is chemical and decoration free before adding it to a local body of water.

Tress are biodegradable and serve many functions in nature. Before you kick your tree to the curb this year, consider repurposing it!