Make an ECO-FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS TREE
Difficulty Craft your Christmas tree from an invasive species for greener festivities.
SHOPPING AND SCAVENGER LIST
• 5–6 young branches of an invasive tree (we used black wattle), about 1m long and no thinner than 2cm at the ends
• a pair of pruning shears and/or a sharp knife • binding wire • fresh or dried penny gum, artemisia and ivy • twine • Lindt chocolate balls
Prune and strip Use pruning shears to get rid of all the twigs on the branches. Remove the green bark by using the blade of a pair of scissors or a sharp knife: lift the bark with the sharp edge and pull it off.
Start with a frame Decide how tall you want your Christmas tree, and cut or saw three of the branches to this length (80cm–100cm works well). Drill holes through the top of all three branches, thread a piece of binding wire through the holes and wind the ends together using a pair of pliers (not too tightly). Stand the three “legs” upright on a flat surface.
Build the skeleton To cut the transverse spars, measure the distance between the legs about 20cm from the surface. Cut three branches according to this measure, drill holes through the ends and use binding wire and a pair of pliers to tighten the spars to the framework. Once again measure the distance between the legs about 20cm above the first set of spars and cut three more pieces according to this measure. Drill holes through the ends and attach them with binding wire and a pair of pliers to the frame. Add more rows of transverse spars if you want the tree to be higher.
Add the finishing touches Form bundles of penny gum, artemisia and ivy and tie each bundle in a few places with twine so it forms a “worm” that you can weave around the tree. (Omit the ivy if you want the tree to remain pretty for longer, because only the penny gum and artemisia look attractive when dry.) Now tie the “worms” to the framework in alternate layers. Attach the chocolate balls, lights and/or other decorations of your choice.