13 Ways on How To Recycle A Christmas Tree + [More Maintenance Tips]

How To Recycle A Christmas Tree

After all the festivities and the new year kicks in, it’s time to get rid of the Christmas tree. This goes to both the real and fake ones. However, most people are opting to buy real Christmas trees. 

According to a study, about 25-30 million Christmas trees are sold yearly in the U.S alone. 

Besides, a fake Christmas tree only needs storing away or donating. However, unreal also has its positives, like you don’t need to keep buying a tree every year. Above all, it’s best to think of eco-friendly methods of disposal.

Keep reading for tips to help you with what to do with your Christmas tree.

Real Vs. Fake Christmas Tree

Usually, people grow Christmas trees just like other crops. So, you will find them in farms growing all year, ready for harvesting during Christmas. When the farmer harvests a Christmas tree, it’s a rule of thumb to replant another immediately. 

So, why are people opting for real Christmas trees?

  • Real trees are highly sustainable because they decompose. This is unlike plastic trees that people dump and pile in landfills, causing environmental harm. 
  • Christmas tree farms also offer the same benefits as other trees. They clean the air, remove carbon, stabilize the soil and attract rain, among others.
  • A real Christmas tree has several ways to recycle it when the season ends. Some cities provide free Christmas tree recycling methods, including shredding for mulch and compost. 
  • The impact of a real tree provides a real connection to the Christmas feeling. A tree that smells, feels, and looks real makes the Christmas season come alive and real in many hearts.

What of the fake Christmas trees?

  • Financially, buying a fake Christmas tree makes sense. The single tree you buy will last you longer, making it cheaper than a real one.
  • You have no stress of recycling a fake tree. You will drag it up the attic to last all year at the end of the season.

After all, a real Christmas tree sounds way better than a fake one. So, here are ways you can still use it after it’s served its Christmas purpose.


If you plan to replant your Christmas tree after the occasion, you should not put them near heat appliances. Why so? The heat will hinder the regrowth of the tree. Also, ensure the root ball remains intact to enable its growth during replanting. Better still, ensure you buy a Christmas tree with a healthy rootball covered in burlap.

Preferably, it would be best to care for the replant while it’s still on the ground. It is also advisable to replant small trees from Christmas tree cuttings.

For a successful replant, you’ll need to;

  1. Cut several stems
  2. Fill the tray with a medium mixture of dry fertilizer
  3. Moisten the pot and place it in a well-sheltered and low-light location
  4. Allow the trees to mature enough to grow outdoors

Make Firewood

You can use the tree for firewood. Before the extraction of the woods, you must allow the tree to dry completely.

To ensure you get good firewood, there are a few procedures you must follow like;

  1. Take the Christmas tree outside where there is plenty of space
  2. Use the garden apparatus for trimming the branches
  3. Start cutting where the branches from the bottom upwards
  4. After you cut the stems off, cut the trunks into logs
  5. It would be best to use a handsaw to cut the trunks about 1.5 feet long
  6. After following the procedure, you can burn the logs as fuel.

Dune Fixing

Usually, storms and hurricanes destroy beaches. Fortunately, old Christmas trees are helpful to reduce beach erosion and fix sun dunes. How? Christmas trees’ needles retain vegetation and sand against strong winds.

So, you should collect many Christmas trees and keep them safe for the construction of dune fences. When thinking of using Christmas trees as dune restoration, the locations must be favorable.

Space is a vital aspect to consider. There should be adequate space between the dune and the Christmas trees and between the dune and the highest tides.

Still, enough sand for trapping is necessary. The natural Christmas trees are ideal for sand fencing and need proper spacing. 

These trees should be in a position that will not interfere with sea creatures. Preferably, an angle less than 45 degrees is the correct placement.

Submitting your Christmas tree for dune rebuilding is not hard if you live along the coastal region. Check out coastal management and property owners that accept natural Christmas trees for sand fencing.

Make Habitat And Fish Food

If you stay near a pond or lake or own one, throw your Christmas tree into it.

Your Christmas tree will provide the fish with a decomposing and natural habitat. Still, it will attract algae for the fish to eat.

Fishery departments allow drop-off for Christmas trees used in community ponds and lakes. But, ensure you remove all decorations, hooks, and ornaments before submitting your tree.

Fish are attracted to the trunks and branches of natural Christmas trees. Put the tree inside a hole held upright. Then fill it with quick-drying substances to secure the trunk for more habitat. What’s more?

If you want your Christmas tree to be a fish magnet, the location of placement is an essential factor to consider. The perfect spot to put your Christmas tree in a lake or pond is near the deep current and water. The needles in the tree will disappear within the first three months.

Research states that a recycled tree has a life expectancy of ten years.

Undeniably, creation a fish habitat and placing the GPS will be tiresome. You will also need a boat. 


Some countries have better recycling of Christmas trees. One of the best methods is mulching.

They have mulching facilities. Once you drop off your natural Christmas tree, it will run through a wood shredder that turns it into mulch. The good thing is that whoever needs the mulch gets it for free.

Also, the Christmas tree mulch keeps other trees warm in the garden during the cold season.

You can also keep the tree safely until the needles fall off, then collect them and mulch for acidic plants like blueberries.

Mulching Christmas trees help prevent soil erosion during heavy rains. 

Transform into Fresheners

You can make a pleasant pine scent by removing the pine needles and putting them in a bowl.

If your tree’s needles are still green, store them in sachets to use as fresheners.

Ash Your Garden

Once you burn the wood from your Christmas tree, spread the ashes on the farm. Wood ash has potassium and other nutrients that help the plant grow.

You can mix the ash into compost. The essence of the ash is to prevent insects from attacking the plants.

It would be best to use wood ash and not coal ash because the two serve different purposes.

Grow More Trees

It is much advisable to purchase a real Christmas tree. During the harvesting of the natural Christmas, farmers plant tree seedlings as replacements. So, it ensures you of more trees grown for future years.

Real Christmas trees benefit clean air, wildlife habitat, and water.

Wildlife Habitat

After the Christmas trees have served their primary purpose during the holiday, please don’t throw them away. Why so?

The Christmas trees can benefit your local wildlife.

After removing all the décor from your Christmas tree, you can again decorate your tree for wildlife. You can find space in your home where you can set your tree outside and decorate with edible staff.

It will help them when the food is scarce. The edibles staff can be birdseed, peanut butter, suet, apples, grapes, and berries.

Make Coasters

Cutting the woods into coasters is a way of recycling your natural Christmas tree.

Use a saw to cut your Christmas trunks into small circles before covering them with a stain. Also, ensure to seal the coasters before using them to prevent them from leaking.

All in all, you don’t need qualifications to cut the trunk into coasters. Coasters are attractive and are used to protect your wood tables from water damage.

Before cutting the coasters, ensure the wood are dry before splitting.

Insulate Your Garden

Cut the branches off your Christmas tree and lay them in your garden. This aids the plants during the cold seasons by giving them a steady temperature.

The limbs are also favorable in the garden edge.

Use the Tree As a Stake

Instead of mulching your Christmas tree or composting it, you can create a frame for flowers.

You can use the pine needles or sprinkle them to provide grip.

Also, use ratchet straps, rope, tie straps, or shepherd hooks to support your Christmas tree outside. A heavyweight umbrella stand base will protect your strake from blowing away.

Make sure you get the correct thickness of your trunk before buying.

Make a Décor

You can use the Christmas tree trunk to make candle holders light up your home.

First, cut the trunk into the size you need. Then measure across the top and locate the center. The easiest way to create holes is to use the spade.

The spade will drill the correct hole size. After drilling, clean out the hole and try the size.

Once you are sure of the correct size, seal your candle holder to protect the wood.

Guide On How To Recycle Christmas Tree

When a new year starts, everyone is ready to dispose of their Christmas tree.

As for natural Christmas, tree buyers have many options on how to dispose of it. This is what you should know;

  • Before recycling, you must remove any lights, tinsel, or other decoration from the stand and tree.
  • Insert a tarp under the tree before putting it in the car to avoid needles from shedding.
  • Look for treecycling programs in your area.
  • If you pick the tree at the curb, you will need large trees in half to fit in the truck.

Importance Of Christmas Tree Recycling

The festive season might be over, but your natural Christmas tree does not belong to landfills.

  1. If you decide to recycle your Christmas tree, you can inspire the rest to do the needful.
  2. By recycling them, you reduce the environmental impact of keeping them out of the landfill. Thus rescuing them from piling up and decomposing.
  3. When you recycle them, they start a new life cycle and compensate for the damage caused during harvesting.
  4. Cutting them down out of their natural state and taking them to tree farms can be used as valuable resources like energy and fuel.

Pros of Artificial Christmas Trees

  • They don’t cause allergies
  • Most Artificial trees look attractive, unlike the real ones
  • Watering and vacuuming are not necessary because they are not alive
  • Easy to install, store and uninstall
  • It is reusable, and it saves you money
  • Most of them are flame retardants

Cons of Artificial Christmas Trees

  • They are not recyclable.
  • The materials used to make the artificial tree are harmful to people and the environment.
  • They may cause fire easily if unattended candles malfunction.
  • Less economical.

Pros of Real Christmas Trees

  • You can replant it and use it on the next occasion.
  • Natural Christmas trees are biodegradable.
  • They produce the natural scent of fresh pines.
  • There are plenty of tree recycling programs worldwide.
  • Limbs extracted from dried Christmas trees are ideal as an outdoor fire pit.
  • No traditional choice.

Cons of Real Christmas Trees

  • Prices incurred.
  • They might have molds or bugs.
  • They are prone to fire if you don’t hydrate them.
  • You have to water them frequently to keep them fresh and free from fire.
  • Usage of toxic pesticides to help their growth, thus contaminating the air.

How To Keep Christmas Tree Fresh Longer

  • Cut locally-grown trees harvested weeks or months ago before they are over
  • Scots pine, Fraser fir, Nordmann fir are well known for good needle retention
  • Slice an inch off the stem before decorating
  • Locate the tree away from sources of heat
  • Utilize a stand that holds a lot of water, and don’t let it run dry
  • Before purchasing, go for a healthy Christmas tree
  • Flick off the lights when leaving the room
  • Get the tree into water as soon as you get home to keep it cool
  • Recycle your Christmas tree in the garden

Bottom Line

With the valuable information written, now you all know what to do with your old Christmas tree at home. Remember, if you have no need or time to recycle, you can donate it to the local recycling programs. 

Let’s reuse those Christmas trees!

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