How to turn your Christmas tree into a bird feeding station

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christmas tree fruit decorations

New Years Day and the upcoming weekend will likely be dedicated to taking down the Christmas decorations, dragging out the Christmas tree and cleaning the house. Although everything could use a dusting and I don’t mind the smell of Pledge, I’ll be a little sad to see the Christmas tree go and I’m going to miss its piney scent.

If you, too, find yourself wishing to extend the usefulness of your living Christmas tree, you might consider turning it into a bird feeding station after you’ve drug it out of the house. Stake it down and decorate it with edible ornaments and garland for the birds.

Here are some ideas to consider:

Pine cone bird feeders

Pine cone bird feeder
Pinecone Bird Feeder by Dan Hughes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dghughes/516595214)], via Flickr
Supplies

  • Pinecones
  • Plastic spoon
  • Peanut butter or suet
  • Mixing bowl
  • Twine
  • Birdseed
  • Scissors
  • Elmer’s non-toxic glue

Steps

  1. Check your pinecones for scales that haven’t popped. Place them in your preheated oven at 300 F for 10 minutes. This will force them to pop open.
  2. Let your pinecones cool off for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Next, cut six-inch pieces of twine to either tie or glue to your pinecones.
  4. Once your pinecones are popped, cooled and twined, you can prepare to spread a thick layer of peanut butter or suet all over their scales. Using your plastic spoon, make sure they are generously covered.
  5. Finally, roll each pinecone in your birdseed until cones are coated.

Edible garland

Supplies

  • Popcorn
  • Dried fruit
  • Cranberries
  • Needle and thread

Steps

  1. Loop your thread through your needle, tying it off close to the eye of the needle.
  2. String popcorn, pieces of dried fruit and cranberries onto the thread, creating an edible garland you can loop around your tree.
  3. When you are happy with the length, tie off both ends.

Other edible ornaments

Decorating your tree with pine cone bird feeders and edible garland will be enough to attract birds to your Christmas tree feeding station, but you might also try these other edible ornament ideas:

  • Small mesh bags of suet
  • Small bunches of grain flowers, such as wheat
  • Half rings of oranges filled with birdseed
  • Small ears of corn
  • Small dried sunflower heads

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Sara is Farm and Dairy’s online content producer. Raised in Portage County, Ohio, she earned a magazine journalism degree from Kent State University. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, traveling, writing, reading and outdoor recreation.

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