InFocus – Real Christmas Trees are Recyclable

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Tips from the National Christmas Tree Association.

After the holidays, don’t throw your real Christmas tree in the trash or set it on the curb. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes.



Why Not Recycle Your Real Christmas Tree?

Some Recycle Ideas

Here are some recycling options and tips on what to do with your tree after the holidays. Every community is different, but in general, you have these options

  • Soil erosion barriers: Christmas trees can make effective sand and soil erosion barriers, especially for lake and river shoreline stabilization.
  • Fish feeders: Sunk into private fish ponds, trees make an excellent refuge and feeding area for fish.
  • Bird feeders: Place the Christmas tree in the garden or backyard and use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary. Fresh orange slices or strung popcorn will attract the birds and they can sit in the branches for shelter. (Make sure all decorations, hooks, garland and tinsel strands are removed). Eventually (within a year) the branches will become brittle and you can break the tree apart by hand or chip it in a chipper.
  • Mulch: A Christmas tree is biodegradable; its branches may be removed, chipped, and used as mulch in the garden.
  • Paths for hiking trails: Some counties use shredded trees as a free, renewable and natural path material that fits both the environment and the needs of hikers.
  • Living, rooted trees: Get a rooted (ball and burlap or containerized) tree and plant it in your yard. (It’s a good idea to dig the hole in the late fall while the soil is still soft, then plant the tree into that hole immediately after Christmas.) Living trees have a better survival rate in mild climates.

How to Make a Christmas Tree Bird Feeder

A Repurposed Christmas Tree Bird Feeder from Garden Answer

Important: Never burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove.

Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District
7312 RT 31 Lyons, NY 14489
315-946-7200