Ways to Resuse or Recycle your Christmas Tree

Ways to Resuse or Recycle your Christmas Tree

Ways to Reuse or Recycle your Christmas Tree

With Christmas behind us, it’s time to take down the decorations. Here are some ways to dispose of your Christmas Tree:

(Photo:  Baloncici/Shutterstock)                                                                                                   (Google Images)

Recycle: Many communities offer curbside pickup of Christmas trees after the season is over. Check with your local county waste management department for specific guidelines. General best practices include:

  • Be sure to remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, stands, and other non-organic decorative materials that are not part of the original tree.
  • Cut the tree into 4 ft. portions for easy curb pickup.
  • Cut smaller trees into chunks to it insides your yard waste container.

Also, check with your local recycling center for free drop-off locations. Oftentimes these centers will chip and shred your tree for use mulch or as part of soil erosion programs. Your Christmas tree mulch can be used as an erosion barrier for lake and river shoreline management or as soft bedding for parks and playgrounds.

Get Creative: With a little imagination, your Christmas tree can be used for a multitude of purposes after the holidays are over.

  • Pond Habitat- Sink pieces of your tree into a backyard pond as a refuge and feeding area for fish.
  • Decorate- Cut pieces of this year’s tree to use as ornaments for next year.
  • Bird House-Stand your tree or a few of the largest branches in your backyard as an organic feeder and sanctuary for birds. Place pinecones filled with peanut butter and birdseed in the branches along with strung popcorn and fresh orange slices. The birds will appreciate the food, and you can enjoy some great winter bird-watching from your window.
  • Coasters-Cut and treat discs from the tree trunk to use as coasters.
  • Mulch-Chip up the trunk and branches to create mulch for your garden come spring.
  • Smell like Christmas Year-Round – You can make a DIY air freshener by crushing up the pine needles and putting it into a bowl of potpourri or into sachets.

(Photo: Americanforests.org)

Caution! Never burn a pine tree in your fireplace. Evergreen trees contain high levels of flammable turpentine oils and may cause flare-ups and chimney fires. If you decide to burn your tree in fire pit out back, be sure to hack up the tree and allow the pieces to dry out for a few weeks before burning. Also, make sure to check with any local ordinances before burning a Christmas Tree, as it’s illegal in some places.


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