MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some of you have already gotten rid of your Christmas trees, and some of you are probably putting it off.

Sure, you can leave yours by the curb for pickup. But we found out there’s a way you can make good use of that tree for the next four months or so.

Mike Cersine manages the garden center at Bachman’s. He says the symbolic arbor of Christmas has a lot to offer itself, and you can throw one in your yard to create a refuge of sorts.

“If birds see a place where they can seek shelter, and you’ve got food for them, they’re gonna come,” he said.

Cersine said you can either stand your tree up in the snow or lay it on its side.

“If you want to get real fancy…get like the dried cranberries, dried fruits or something, and just have a decoration that way,” he added.

And it doesn’t only help the birds, Cersine says.

“Everyone’s got these outdoor fireplaces now, go ahead and use it in there,” he said. “Then take your ashes, throw them in the garden, use the pot ash in there, so you’re recycling the whole thing completely.”

Other things you can recycle are your old Christmas cards and wrapping paper. Here are some tips.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield