Welcome to a bumper edition of #alternative #Christmastrees from AST members. Take a look at these ideas from twigs and logs to bicycle wheels! They offer up many solutions too, from space saving to pets, for those who are challenged by the traditional tree.
So, let's start with two of the main reasons people want an #alternativeChristmastree from AST member Carol-Ann Channing...
"We learned there really is no need to fell trees for the festive period. We don't like synthetic so in the past opted for the trees complete with roots. One year, one of our dogs, always on the lookout for mischief, reeked havoc, digging, scattering wet soil everywhere, the tree pretty much annihilated. The following year we opted for making our own eco friendly 'tree' from fallen branches and hemp. It hangs on the wall, well out of reach of our four legged mischief and rolls up, taking up very little room when not in use. We think looks very pretty, hope you do too. Xxx "
Below is a wall mounted tree by Lulu Roberts. She says she has been using this for three years.
Many AST members opt for a #handmade Christmas tree, and some even get theirs for free. Well, except maybe for the cost of a mince pie...
Chris Orton "I love this idea, for a #Yulelog. I've a gardener friend who, at this time of year, puts aside all sorts of trimmings from holly to fir tree for me... It costs me nothing (other than a few mince pies I've been known to bribe him with ;) ) and as I believe the original idea of Yuletide #greenery indoors was to give the Fae/Tree Divas/Nature Spirits a warm place to be safe fits my requirements nicely :)"
Some members have other very important considerations, such as Rowena Reed. She said of her tree below, "Not the best photo but this is my twig tree. I’ve had it about 5 years. It isn’t real, it’s wire and covered in a tape type texture. I fold it each year and wrap it to keep it from being damaged. I also have three artificial trees, again years old and put in the loft out of the way. I bought those because I have a son who is in a wheelchair and he has been known to bring down a tree! A real one would be seriously heavy and hurt."
Meanwhile some folks make do and mend ... Sophie Schneiderman "My other tree is a 30ft fir 🌲 in the garden that was a Christmas tree about 15 years ago.One year I didn't have a tree and built one with fire wood - the logs came from storm damaged trees at school where I work! 🎄"
A really clever and ingenious offering and the most unusual alternative Christmas tree I have ever seen comes from Tracey Lloyd. "Just did a little re"cycling" to make a tree with a difference... I think it'll look fun when it's decorated."
I love this incredibly pretty enchanted offering by Denise O'Neil "These branches from my garden have been used for four years. ...I have them all year with #fairylights n fake leaves. At Xmas I put frosted leaves on and decorations. 😊"
For those of you that prefer a living tree, it doesn't have to be a fir. Samara Jacobs said "It's a silver birch from our garden. She will be going back out in the next few days to carry on her life outside!"
Meanwhile a really sweet #Christmastradition is offered up by Dawn Skipp. Fake trees can be consecrated and hung with wishes over the years. Every wish we made has come true.
#NewChristmastraditions appear to be a theme as Jon Johnson said "My new Xmas tradition, part tree, part Yule Log. Always a fallen branch."
For those of you with cats that love to cause mayhem with your tree, here is the answer! Jay Cerniglia, "I have Christmas...er...branches. Totally cat-proof."
A pretty and striking centrepiece was created by Cheryl Chatham. "No tree for me, gathered some teasels and used decs I already had."
Zoe Wheeler also prefers a living tree but uses her jade plant Chinese money tree.
Not satisfied with just one tree? Cathy 'Best' PetermanI has a small artificial forest instead. "Only used 3 ornaments. Peace to you all."
Liz Browning "I had this...the beech was lying on the ground all leafy ripped off her tree I found her on the winter solstice the 2 branches above are from my 2 favourite places this is always what I do or similar to just adorn a fallen branch with deer etc the vase is holding greenery I found on my solstice walk."
Naturally enough twig trees are very popular and come in all shapes and sizes.
Wide trees can pose a problem for those living in small apartments so you could make one like this display made with narrow willow twigs from Lynn Wilson.
A pretty idea below of displaying a twig tree in front of tree themed wall paper. You could even cover a canvas with tree themed wall paper and hang that.
Another more unusual tree idea is again offered by Zoe Wheeler who also decorates her twisted hazel tree outside. "I also decorate a little potted contorted hazel outside my front door with crystals. ❄️"
Finally, here are a couple more alternative Christmas tree ideas for you. These could be fun to make with the children. The one below is great way to learn about recycling, being creative and learning about traditional Christmas customs. Then on Twelfth Day they could open up the presents to celebrate the last day of Christmas. The last day of Christmas by the way is on January 6th and is the day after #TwelfthNight.
Then there is this idea using recycled cardboard and you could make it any size you like.
One final idea for you is making a tree from paper cones. The one below has a smart minimalist feel but you could make one with Christmas wrapping papers for a more folksy or crafty look, and of course you could tie it in with your overall colour scheme.
So let's finish with a few more AST trees...
Andy Birnie said "My lovely girlfriend Nicola Goodall made this Christmas tree from a roll of sisal twine and a couple of birch branches. No need to buy a crappy little fir tree from a monoculture plantation. Use your native species first. 👍"
Some members trees last for years as this lovely tale from Brandy Jean testifies. "Decades ago a friend that worked for the USFS was helping build a new fire road in the Angeles National Forest. A large Manzanita had to be removed. He brought a quarter of it home to me. The sons nicknamed it the twig. I trimmed it up (6' tall, 5' wide, 4' deep) and it's been the family 'tree' ever since. When I retired & moved north 1,000 miles: the twig came too. I have many living evergreens in my woods, so I bring in branches for that fresh scent. No tree loses its life here."
Cathy Sullivan created this striking display including dogwood and pussy willow to great effect.
Cassie Tea "We've been doing the same for a long time with Hazel from the garden, that are then used as pea sticks the year after."
Angela Pleuss "I have made a little one from driftwood I collected on the beach here"
Beth Wardale "My Ma does this too, she calls them her Solstice sticks."
Nadia Sangra-Jones uses branches and foliage for her designer style display.
NeilBauers Conversation Starter · December 5 at 10:28 AM got a whopping 139 comments.
"Don't kill a tree this Christmas! For years my family walked out and harvested a dead branch for decoration. At first this was for comedy but they became quite attractive as our artistic skills improved. And the dead wood can be returned to nature afterwards. Sadly I've not found a photo. We hung chocolate santas and other sweets as decorations. Check if you have mice first!"205 139 Comments22 Shares
Of course for some folks only the traditional fir tree will do. While many members are happy to use trees sustainably planted and harvested Vanessa Penman voiced a concern of member saying "Our living tree expensive but definitely worth it. I had a felled tree last year felt guilty as hell. I'm teaching the kids in how to look after it."
Gabbi Simpson shared this happy tree with us, "Not ancient but very sentimental 😊 I bought a potted Christmas tree last Christmas and I’ve come back from holiday and he’s looking very very happy 😍 it was my daughters first Christmas just gone and I want to keep and use the same tree every year 😊"
Having a tree in a pot means you can keep it for many years. This cautionary tale was offered by Liz Llama. "Just make sure to keep it in a pot unless you want a beauty like this! It was a Christmas tree planted by the previous owners of our house 🤣"
Susan Fairclough has this handy advice to offer if you have a tree in a pot. "This is my pot-grown tree's 5th Christmas inside with us. It's like welcoming a friend :). I just give it a pint of water every couple of days. I have some plant food granules that I sprinkle on top of the compost every spring too. Check for roots showing under the pot too, to see when it needs repotting... It grew little cones for the first time this year :)."
I hope you have enjoyed looking at all the AST members Christmas trees and it has given you some ideas, inspiration and a little bit of Christmas cheer. As you can see there are lots of alternative #ecofriendly #sustainable solutions for #Christmas that don't have to cost the #earth.
We are a friendly communiTree so don't be lonely this Christmas. You can join us for free by signing up for the blog right here. We have a newsletter full of positivitree and lots more.
Amanda x Ancient and Sacred Trees founder
PS For ethical Christmas gifts take a look here at Jack In The Green ethical gift shop, every purchase raises money for trees. AST members get a discount.