The holidays are over and now it’s time to decide what to do with your Christmas tree. Fortunately, there are several, earth-friendly ways to dispose of, or repurpose your tree.
If you simply want to have it removed, start by contacting your waste provider. Many will pick up trees in the weeks that follow Christmas. If you have a compost container and a pruner, you can cut up the branches and loosely pile them inside your bin to be hauled away with your other compost. Most counties have drop-off sites as well.
4 Ways to Upcycle Your Tree
Tree recycling and mulching programs are springing up all over the country. A quick Google search will help you find out if there is one in your area. Some communities use your old trees for sand and soil erosion barriers. They are especially welcome for lake, river and delta stabilization.
Turning your old Christmas tree into a birdfeeder is a great way to repurpose your tree. First of all, make sure all the decorations, hooks and tinsel are removed. Then put it outside, stand and all, in a place where you’ll be able to see it from indoors. Decorate it with orange slices, strung popcorn, little bunches of millet and suet balls. The birds will love the treat and you can enjoy watching them from the warmth of your home. It will also provide shelter from the cold winter winds for all of your birds
Another idea to repurpose your tree, is to start a compost pile. Cut the branches so they’ll fit inside the bin. Layer them inside in a crisscross pattern about 6 or 8 inches high. This will ensure good airflow around the bottom of your new compost pile. Then add your vegetable scraps and leaf litter as you normally would. In time, the branches will breakdown and turn to compost as well.
If you live in a mild climate, your best option might be to purchase a living tree, either balled and burlaped or in a pot. Do yourself a favor and dig the planting hole in the fall when the ground is easy to work. Plant it right after Christmas, water it once thoroughly and then mulch with a thick layer of wood chips or leaves.
Plastic Christmas trees can’t be recycled of course, and neither can flocked trees. They need to be cut op in small pieces and disposed of in the regular trash.