The Suitcase Lady


January 14, 2020, 8:25 pm

I have just discovered the ultimate way to recycle a Christmas tree. My husband and I have had real pine trees for 56 consecutive years. We are guilt free about this, knowing the trees are grown on tree farms specifically for holiday use. No old growth forests are being chopped down to bring us holiday tree joy.

Various ways of recycling the trees exist. In our case, sheltering fish is the most viable one. Mother Nature does this all the time. Shore erosion and big storms send trees catapulting into the waves. In the past two years, high and stormy waters have yanked over 40 trees from our cliff, including many huge ones. The lake bottom is a mass of dead trees where fish find safe spots to hide and spawn. Our annual Christmas tree toss is nothing compared to what nature is doing on an ongoing basis.

Tree farms in our area also use lake disposal for their unsold merchandise. A huge glacial lake, Lake Winnebago, receives many of these trees. It’s 30 miles long by 10 miles wide and a fisherman’s paradise. In addition to sinking trees to create fish habitats, fishing clubs collect trees to use as navigational markers. For ice fishing, 75 miles of roads are plowed on the lake. Hundreds of trees mark the roads.

For those not living in lake abundant states, other recycling options include:

  • Chipping for mulch
  • Composting
  • Turning the tree into a bird feeder for wildlife
  • Cutting off boughs to protect perennial flowerbeds
  • Cutting the trunk into discs for flowerbed borders

But here is the ultimate reuse of a Christmas tree. Give your tree to a TIGER! Sheer bliss will follow. These pictures were taken at the Valley of the Kings big cat sanctuary in Wisconsin. My husband and I have been supporting members of this amazing place for over 35 years. They know how to make tigers (and all their other animals) extremely happy.




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