How to get rid of your real Christmas tree – can you throw it away?

Millions of Christmas trees are thrown away as the festive period comes to an end and if not disposed of in the correct way, these trees can end up in a landfill. Here’s how you can get rid of your tree without costing the environment

Woman decorating Christmas tree
Christmas trees can be recycled so don’t throw them away

Another Christmas has come to an end and with it many households and businesses will be looking to take down their Christmas decorations.

While most decorations like tinsel or fairy lights are easy to take down, disposing of your Christmas tree can be more challenging.

After every festive period, a total of eight million Christmas trees are chucked out.

Throwing them away in an improper way will see them end up in a landfill which not only impacts the environment, but also costs the taxpayer a lot of money every year.

So, how do you get rid of your real Christmas trees in a way that’s not harmful or expensive?

How to get rid of your Christmas tree

You can either recycle your Christmas tree or replant it


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  • Recycle your Christmas tree

Real Christmas trees are recyclable, so once your tree has fulfilled its festive purpose, you can take it to be recycled at various parks.

Different local councils offer their own “treecycling” initiatives, where the used trees are either shredded into wood chipings that are used to “replenish paths in our parks” or the trees are used to build flood barriers around the country.

You can find out where to recycle your Christmas tree on Recycle Now’s recycling locator by entering your postcode.

  • See if a local charity can collect it

Give your tree a new lease of life while also raising money for charity with this option. There are many charitable organisations around the UK that arrange for Christmas trees to be collected from homes in exchange for a small donations.

Once the trees are collected, they will be recycled. You can find a local charity that collects Christmas trees England and Wales here.

  • Use your tree to make a wildlife habitat

If you have the right tools to chop up your Christmas tree yourself, you can use some of the remains to make a habitat for the wildlife in your garden.

All you really need to do is chop up the trunks/branches of your tree and leave this in a pile at the corner of your garden as shelter for wildlife. The wood will eventually rot down and also become compost that you can use on your plants.

You can also use some parts of the tree as a place for birds to enjoy feed on.

  • Replant your Christmas tree

You can even use your Christmas tree to create a wildlife habit in your garden


Getty Images)

You can replant your Christmas tree as long as you take the correct measures. A Christmas tree that’s going to be replanted shouldn’t be kept indoors for longer than 10 days.

Provided you follow this advice and you have enough space in your garden, just choose a spot that’s not exposed to strong winds but where sunlight reaches.

  • Check with your local authorities

Many local authorities often arrange drop-off points or special collections of trees in early January and advertise the dates this will take place.

You can usually find details for each local authority, including contact details, by entering your postcode into the Recycling Locator tool.

Your local council may even allow you to leave your Christmas tree with your allocated garden waste bin.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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