Sunday, May 15, 2011

Christmas Tree Trellis

My Christmas tree continues it's transformation. At this point the tree that started as a holiday decoration, which turned into a bird feeding station (01/18/2011), later had it's branches shredded as mulch for the blueberries,(03/09/2011) now moves on to it's next life.
Today I'll turn my tree into a trellis for the green beans that are growing in a raised bed in my front yard.  I've had some doubt about this project.  The hesitation doesn't stem from thinking this won't work well.  I've done this before with terrific results.  My problem stems with where I will be placing my new trellis.  You see, I usually do this in the back yard, hidden from view so as not to upset my neighbors, or at the very least, leave them with the impression that I am whacky (that ship has sailed). 
This is a bit different.  It's in the front yard.  It's noticeable and weird.  It's a skelton of a dead Christmas tree standing in the middle of our front yard. 
My husband was the one who finally convinced me to do it.  He said "it's recycling, it's what you do".  I figure if he's ok with it then thats all that matters.  I just hope the beans cover it soon so it can become a focal point and not an eye sore.
I pruned out the side branches and needles, leaving me with a tree that looked rather scrawny and sad.

All of the prunnings were put through the shredder and used as mulch around the newly planted blueberries.

The green beans have been growing around a "Texas tomato cage".  It's made of heavier wire than your regular cages and folds flat for storage.

I removed the cage from the soil and stuffed the tree through the wire cage.  It wasn't easy getting the tree in, and I broke a few branches, but eventually I got the tree in to it's stand. 

We cut off a few of the lower branches to make the trunk a bit longer.

My husband removed the pot and dug out a spot in the center of the green bean circle. 

We set the tree in the hole, pushing the feet of the tomato cage into the soil. 

We backfilled the soil around the trunk and checked to make sure that none of the green bean seedlings were being damaged by the edges of the branches. 

It doesn't look as bad as I expected.  In fact, it just looks like a dead tree surrounded by plants (and my husband)

It's not as shocking as I thought.  Still, I hope the beans take over soon.

Follow up:
It seems the green beans were waiting for something to climb. 

The vines are starting to grow through branches.  I will post another picture next week to show further progress.

Follow up: The vines are growing through and twining around the branches of the tree.
The weather has been cooler than usual at this time of year, but I expect as soon as it heats up the growth will explode.
Follow up:  Our Christmas tree trellis was a huge success.  It was completely filled with vines.  You couldn't see the tree at all.  The green beans were very easy to find and pick.

After the green bean crop was finished my husband cut off the remaining branches.  I put the branches through the mulcher and piled this all around the blueberry plants.  My husband sawed the trunk into small pieces and we set them aside to finishing drying. The branches will be used in the fireplace some chilly night and the resulting ashes will be sent to the compost bin,  Waste not!


  1. Wow, would have never thought of using an old Christmas tree like that. Can't wait to see and hear how it worked out.

  2. What a great idea. Why didn't I think of that.
    Love to see more great ideas!