Make an ECO-FRIENDLY CHRIST­MAS TREE

go! Platteland - - GARDEN DIARY -

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

TOOLS

• 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.

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