Happy Holidays! I don't celebrate any religious holiday, but I do love the festivities and sparkle of this season. This year I decided to splurge on a real tree, but hate to waste my artificial tree... so, I'm going to use it to decorate the front yard. But instead of using artificial decorations on it, I'm going to turn it into a Christmas tree for the birds! (Squirrels and field mice will also enjoy this.)
1 Artificial Christmas tree in stand (you can also use a real cut or living tree)
Any combination of the following:
20 sprays of millet (available wherever pet bird food is sold)
Several clusters of hard berrries: Holly, currant, viburnum, etc.
10 small apples (Lady apples are perfect)
1 package of dried figs (make sure they don't contain sulfites)
1 cluster of red grapes
1 bag of rice cakes
1 bag of unsalted unshelled peanuts
1 large box of raisins
3 bags of raw cranberries
Several pine cones
Wild bird suet cakes
Mesh socks filled with niger seed
Dried ears of corn
1 bundle of green and/or red raffia
1 large package of soft moss (available at craft stores)
Pre-made bird food decorations (available online or at Wild Bird stores)
Optional for California and Arizona: 2 small tube style hummingbird feeders with clear nectar
String the cranberries, raisins, peanuts and dried fruit into garlands or bundles with natural cotton twine.
Tie berries and millet sprays into bundles with raffia.
Poke hole through apples and rice cakes and string with cotton twine leaving hanger loop.
Stick clumps of moss among the branches.
Stuff pine cones with suet and place among branches.
LIGHTING: For lighting, its ok to use outdoor tree lights if they are not plugged in during the day. A safe alternative would be to use a low voltage spotlight to shine on the tree at night.
Replace materials as consumed!