Scarlet runner beans turned into a bean tree. Photo: http://www.gardenfocused.co.uk
If you store your cut Christmas tree outdoors over the winter until its needles all drop off, you can easily turn it into a large branching plant stake: a bean tree.
In late spring or early summer, stand it up in the vegetable garden, inserting the base of the trunk into ground, using a few tent pegs to hold down the lower branches for better support. Then simply sow seeds of climbing vegetables, like pole beans, runner beans, peas or squash in the ground all around the outer branches.
As the seeds sprout, their twisting stems or tendrils will wrap around the tree branches and hoist themselves up, completely covering the bare tree with leaves.
By midsummer, you can astound your friends with your bean tree. Or pea tree. Or squash tree.
The “tree” will eventually begin to rot and can then be composted, but should last 7 or 8 years.
Sometimes gardening is sooo simple!