Introducing: The DIY Fake Real Christmas Tree!
I used some scrap 1 1/4'' tube steel to make a frame in the rough shape of a tree. According to the internet, the platonic ideal proportions for a christmas tree are height = 2 X width. I went with six feet tall and three feet wide. Each limb has three or four 1/2'' holes drilled in it, as does the top of the trunk. In retrospect, being more liberal with the hole drilling would have given me more room for creativity when it came time for filling it in, so next year I'll perforate this thing like swiss cheese.
Each hole is then filled with the trimmed branches of a real tree. This way you don't have to dig up a living tree, and you have a fun incentive for doing that trimming you've been ignoring since fall! Now yes, this is assuming you live in an area with enough coniferous trees around to trim, but it really doesn't take all that much. I filled this tree in with the trimmings from one medium sized limb I had to a take off of a cedar a couple weeks ago. As a bonus, our yurt now smells of sweet, citrusy cedar!
Not only can decorating the tree be a fun family project, but now harvesting the branches can be a new outdoors holiday tradition! I know it looks a little sparse this year, I did this while Christy has been out of town and she's really got the eye for this sort of thing. We'll keep working on it. Maybe next year we'll go with doug fir....