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Don't toss an unwanted artificial Christmas tree! Regardless of the reason, if it has realistic branches and will stand up, find a bare spot in your yard near a newly planted tiny tree, perhaps against a fence in the back yard. Dig a one foot hole for its trunk, fill with rocks and dirt, and enjoy it until the tiny new real tree matures!
Meantime, search for other artificial Christmas trees being tossed about this time of the year as they are replaced for "lighted ones" or fuller ones, or taller, thinner, or smaller ones. Most that you find can be trimmed, shaped with scissors and tin snips into temporary beauty for the fence row and give you an idea of what that little new tree and/or shrub might look like in a couple of years.
You could also use the branches and shape them into a wreath to hang on your door.
I like your ideas. I have used the artificial trees in 2 other ways. I have cut off the top to a large one and then decorated it and placed in on my Dad's grave (I save it every year); I have also used the rest of it plus another to make a GIANT wreath for the front of the house which we also use each year.
I donated mine to the thrift store. I'm sure someone needs a good fake tree.
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MANY PEOPLE WHO CAN'T AFFORD A TREE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE ONE