recycle christmas tree

If you enjoyed a real tree all holiday season, you might now be wondering how to recycle your Christmas tree.

If you’re like the majority of people, you’ll simply dispose of your tree after the holidays. Most cities have special curbside pickup schedules, so make sure to check out what your city offers. Another option is to see if your area has a recycling center accepting Christmas trees. Some Boy Scout troops even pick up trees for a small fee.

Other ways to recycle your Christmas tree

Trashing your tree isn’t the only option. You may not realize it, but your tree can keep on giving well past the holiday season. Here are some ways you can recycle your Christmas tree into something new and useful.

  • Make mulch. Remove the branches and use a chipper to cut them down to size. Voila—you now have mulch for your garden.
  • Turn it into a fish feeder. Have a pond nearby? If so, sunken Christmas trees serve as a refuge and a feeding area for fish.
  • Fashion it into a nocost bird feeder. Simply laying the tree in your backyard will create a safe haven for birds. To attract feathery friends, place orange slices or string popcorn around the tree.
  • Help create safe paths or erosion barriers. Some communities use shredded trees as a natural liner for hiking paths. Others place Christmas trees around beaches to help prevent sand and soil erosion. See if any organizations in your community could recycle your Christmas tree for a good purpose.
  • Replant it. Did you opt for a rooted tree? If so, you can simply replant the tree and enjoy it for years to come.
  • Create some crafts. In search of new coasters and trivets? If so, simply cut slabs from the trunk, sand them down and apply a coat of polyurethane to keep surfaces sap-free.
  • Use it for outdoor firewood. Christmas trees do not make for safe indoor firewood—but you can throw branches in an outdoor fire pit. They’re quick to ignite, so use them to get a fire started.

Whatever you decide to do, don’t leave your tree up for more than five weeks. That’s when they start to seriously dry out—and dry trees are a fire hazard.