Christmas Tree Recycling

Dan Forestry, General

Christmas tree with presents and lights reflecting in windows around the tree in modern home
Cathy Isom gives us some tips for disposing and recycling that Christmas tree. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

Download Christmas Tree Recycling

Now that Christmas is over and the relatives are gone it’s time to start thinking about taking down all of the beautiful decorations and putting them away for the year. But that fresh Christmas tree will need to be disposed of, or recycled. And in most urban and suburban areas, Christmas trees are collected from curbside during the first two weeks of January.

christmas-tree-at-homeBe sure to remove all of the lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails stands, and other non-organic decorative materials that are not part of the original tree, including the tree stand.  Flocked trees are usually accepted, but not artificial trees.  Larger trees, six to seven feet, may need to be cut in half depending on the requirements of your garbage hauler. Check with your local city or county agency to see if tree curbside pickup is available, and also when it’s ok to start leaving your tree on the curb. Or, where is the nearest place is to drop off the tree if curbside pickup is not an option.

Another option is finding a non-profit agency in your area that offers tree pickup and disposal. Or, you could place trees and greenery around your yard to provide shelter for birds and small animals. Or, cut the branches of your tree into small pieces, then add to your compost pile for use in the spring.

Remember to NEVER burn your tree in a wood stove or fireplace.  Pines, firs, and other evergreens have a high content of flammable turpentine oils. Burning the tree may contribute to creosote buildup and risk a chimney fire.