Monday, January 10, 2011

Our Christmas Tree's Next Life

IT must be a funny life, that of a Christmas tree, as tree lives go. Most grow for eight or more years in neat rows on Christmas tree farms with regular watering, fertilization and pruning. Not exactly your natural forest environment. Then just as they reach their prime, they are cut from their roots and loaded onto a lorry for a grand, if short-lived, adventure. Their ultimate destination is a family home, where they become the central decoration for the Christmas season, adorned with ornaments, twinkly lights and glittery garlands. After just a few weeks of glory, the decorations are removed and the tree is cast back out, destined for the chipper.

We are keeping our tree around a little longer. He's moved outside and now instead of baubles, his branches hold sprigs of berries and little bags of nuts, seeds, fat, cheese rind and other goodies. We admire him more than ever, and little winged visitors flock by the dozen to shelter in his branches and enjoy a meal.

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