Once you’ve enjoyed the festivities of the holidays, you’ll need to throw out your real Christmas tree. Rather than simply throw it out for the bin mean or dump on the curb side. There are a few different options you can take which are environmentally friendly and make your tree useful after you’re done with it.
- Curb side recycling: depending on your area, most councils will pick up trees for up to two weeks after Christmas and take them to be recycled. Remember to remove all ornaments before you leave it, and make sure your tree meets flocking and size criteria.
- You may wish to take your tree to a drop off recycling centre. This is usually free, and your trees will be recycled for you.
Trees that are sent or taken to be recycled are often turned into wood chips for woodland areas and parkland.
- If you have the facilities, you may want to chop up your Christmas tree and put in on a compost heap or in a compost bin. This will eventually turn into nutrient rich plant food and fertiliser for your garden.
- Tree mulching centres are becoming increasingly popular. Your tree will be chipped and shredded to make mulch that you can then use in your garden. See if you can find a centre near your home.
Top tip: place a plastic tree bag underneath your tree stand when you put your Christmas tree up and hide it with a tree skirt. When the holidays are up, pull the bag over the tree and remove the stand outside to minimise pine needles indoors.
Other recycling options
- If you have a fish pond, a surprising use for your old Christmas tree is to use it as a sunken refuge and cleaning area for your fish.
- Your tree can be taken outside to use as a bird feeder. Adorn it with bird friendly food, and you’ll be offering food and shelter to wildlife in winter. The tree should last for about a year, before becoming brittle. You can then easily break it down by hand or turn it into wood chips.
- If you’ve bought, or are planning to buy a real rooted tree, dig a hole in late autumn whilst the ground is still quite soft and plant it after Christmas. There is a good chance your tree will be healthy and thrive in the mild winter temperature, as well as giving you a lifelong reminder of a delightful family Christmas.