Monday, December 6, 2010

The Fallen Branch Christmas Tree

Littlest Monkey decorating last year's fallen branch Christmas tree.
For the past fifteen or so years I've been using fallen or pruned branches as Christmas trees and I reckon they look great.  I was first inspired by my cousin Kath who one year had draped a branch with lights around her mantlepiece and I've taken her lead ever since.  But I've never seen anyone else do it.  Why not?

I was inspired to write this piece after reading a post from a blog I like
There is a debate about whether real trees or artificial trees are better for the environment.  I did a little research and according to wikipedia it takes at least 20 years of re-using for an artificial tree to leave an environmental footprint as low as a real tree.  Real Christmas trees can be mulched but you only have to take a drive around the neighbourhood in January to see that lots of them aren't.  In my local municipality only 15% have a green waste bin and I'm not sure there'd be too many others doing their own mulching and chopping.  So my guess is lots of these trees are ending up as landfill.  And I wonder about the distances real trees travel to end up in our homes?   Of course, those potted Christmas trees that are brought in and decorated each year can't be bad but they've never really appealed to me.

Wikipedia artificial Christmas Tree
Unlike most of my friends and acquaintances I LOVE Christmas - especially since having kids.  I loathe the shopping centres of course (I loathe them at the best of times but at Christmas eeek) but I do love lots of the other little rituals and excitements of Christmas.  And the hunt for the tree and decorating it with the family is fun.  For the last two years finding the branch has been easy - our Silver Princess gum needed a prune.  Actually last year the whole tree blew down in a storm so we had a fantastic tree.  The white trunk on the Silver Princess looked beautiful. Fortunately, the tree sprouted from the roots again and it is growing back.  But it's not big enough to use a branch this year.  And after last year's beauty this year the branch from the maculata doesn't quite measure up.  We haven't gotten round to decorating it yet but I'm sure it'll look better than this one from the wikipedia site don't you think?!
Monkey Family Fallen Branch Christmas Tree

Whenever my friends visit I always boast about how great my fallen branch Christmas tree is and they make affirmative noises but I'm beginning to suspect I'm a tad delusional.  No-one I know is doing this too and certainly none of my friends have followed me on this one.  So come with me internet friends -
I'm starting a movement!  I can't believe more of us aren't making our own trees from fallen or pruned branches.  Check out my tree last year.  Tell me it doesn't look good?!!  

So send me a pic with your fallen or pruned branch Christmas tree and I'll feature it in a post before Christmas.  Email your pictures to  Now don't disappoint me - I know there must be someone out there who wants to do this?!!!


  1. Looks like a brilliant idea. I did that once with branches stuck in a bucket of sand, I thought it was great but my family, who were all born in England, insist on having a pine tree every year. I also tried a very trendy twig tree that was woven into a Christmas tree shape but that just drove them crazy - they hated it. I have it on the deck now just with lights, I think it's beautiful.

    One of my friends has a NSW Christmas bush as a tree, think she has it in a pot all year round.

  2. My family occasionally had tree branches like yours at Christmas...many, many Christmases ago. We sprayed them silver. My brother in law once made a cardboard tree that hung from the beams in their lounge where the children couldn't dismantle it when they were tiny. One of my sisters has a Woolemi (can't spell it) pine in a pot that she has used for the past four years. When it gets to big, she will plant it out. I love it because it is so Australian. I love your pictures with the little monkeys. Sweet. Christmas is so special with little ones around.

  3. I love the brach. I have seen it many times before. We used a branch for our easter celebration. But fell in love with Christmas trees this year- everytime we saw one in a window or store he would run to it and shout and point. So, I really wanted to make it a special family tradition this year. But potted trees or fallen branches are definitely the best option. xo m.

  4. I also use fallen branches or prunings for my chrissy tree! I just feel that Australia needs to make its own christmas tradition and pine trees just arent Australian!!

  5. Yep, I understand the real tree thing. I grew up with a really tacky looking plastic thing so I don't associate with the smell or have childhood memories or anything - but I do get it. Luckily my little monkeys don't know any differently and they haven't yet asked for another type of tree.
    Yay Phoebe - please send me a photo!

  6. Okay, I'll give something a go, but I'll have you know that I failed 8th grade art, so I can't see it being particularly impressive!

    If I do send you a photo though, you have to make impressive noises.

  7. I definitely will make impressive noises Ali - especially 'cos you might be the only taker!

  8. Well I have an idea, my follow through is not always great though! I will have a go at it tomorrow, it's not exactly a fallen branch, but it's Christmas themed!

  9. How beautiful. What a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing.


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