By Carly Sciacca
Have you ever considered a recycled tree for Christmas? Most of us “recycle” our spent trees through the city’s program, but until this year I never had seen trees assembled from discarded boughs. Since I consider myself a “dendrophile,” (AKA tree-lover), the thought of saving branches destined for the dump while still being able to enjoy the aromatic loveliness of fresh pine seemed like a win win!
My friend Sally Coffey from the South Laguna Community Garden Park was the mastermind behind this eco-friendly idea. She suggested we take old tomato cages and turn them on their ends to form the shape of a conifer. Add an armful of trimmings from local pines, or from the Christmas tree lot, and voila! Add some garland, even ornaments and solar lights and the newly assembled tree is ready to spread cheer this season. Garden Manager Ken Hughes took the idea a step further and adorned this Eiffel tower trellis with pine sprigs and ornaments. Shanna Berkovits and John Sinegra made two tomato cage trees in their garden plot and included special ornaments to commemorate loved ones and memories. Come stroll through the Garden Park and enjoy some original “trees” and get inspired to make one or two of your own!
DIY: collect an old tomato cage, 15-20 pine or fir boughs, wire or string, scissors, garland/ornaments, and lights.
Turn the tomato cage upside down and fasten the stakes that go into the soil with string or wire to make a point.
Choose some large boughs to fasten to the bottom of the tree form to create a skirt.
Work your way up, cutting smaller pieces if necessary and affix them to the cage.
If branches seem to be sticking out, trim or tie branches together until they take on the shape of a proper tree.
Decorate and Enjoy!
Carly is a long-time volunteer at the South Laguna Community Garden.