Recycle a Xmas Tree

There are many great options for recycling your Christmas Tree


Of course you can just put it out to the curb to be picked up by your garbage hauler.  Most will grind them up for mulch, but you may want to inquire about specifically what your garbage collector does with the trees.  Also check on any restrictions regarding flocking and of course remove all ornaments. 

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But why not do something  that benefits wildlife or the environment?  There are several ways you can do that.

  • Just put that tree right into your backyard!  This will create instant shelter for small animals and for birds to nest.  Keep the tree beautifully decorated by hanging strung berries, popcorn and orange slices for them to eat.  You can also use suet or hang dried fruit in a mesh bag.  Save whole sunflowers from your garden and hang them on the tree.  You will attract song birds of many varieties with all the goodies.  Place the tree a bit of a distance from your house, you don’t want to encourage critters to live too close to your home.
  • If you have a slope or water’s edge that is prone to wash out, lay Christmas tree branches over the soil to create a soil stabilization barrier.
  • Some community lakes, or if you have a pond on your property, like to put Christmas trees right into the lake.  A habitat is created for fish that attracts algae for the fish to eat.  Be sure all hooks and ornaments are removed.
  • Needles can be removed and saved in brown paper bags to make pine scented potpourris.  
  • Cut all the branches from the Christmas tree and use to cover perennials, or push branches into the snow to create a wind screen in front of evergreens susceptible to winter burn and sun scald.
  • Shake off dead needles or lay down branches to create a path on your property.
  • After removing branches, the trunk can be used to edge in a garden.
  • After removing branches from your Christmas tree, cut the trunk into thin slices to create coasters and trivets.  Sand them smooth and stain or seal them.

Remember never to burn Christmas tree branches to avoid sap fires, but the trunk may be burned safely.

Better yet, use a balled and burlap tree that you can plant in your yard after Christmas.  Stand the tree into a container of potting soil or sawdust and keep the burlapped roots moist.  Just be sure to dig your hole before the ground freezes!

Sharon Dwyer