How to Recycle your Christmas Tree

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… in fact, many of us now have our Christmas trees up in our homes and workplaces. Each year, 6-8 million of us in the UK purchase a ‘real’ Christmas tree, as opposed to an artificial one. So, what do we do with these trees that we have brought into our homes, once Christmas is over? I often see them abandoned in public in January – fly tipped due to a lack of knowledge, or perhaps just pure laziness and apathy. Yet there are so many options for what you can do.

Here are some ideas for what to do with your Christmas tree after the festive period:

Use a rosemary bush instead

rosemary
Image credit: Pixabay

Some people have started using festively pruned rosemary bushes instead of pine trees, as they are far more sustainable, and can be moved around in their pot without you having to chop them down like a traditional tree. But, if you still fancy a pine tree, read on for plenty of ideas…

Chop it into firewood

Image credit: Pixabay
Image credit: Pixabay

It is the coldest season of the year, so why not chop your Christmas tree up when you are done with it indoors, and use the firewood to build a lovely, warming fire in your fireplace.

Create some ornaments from it

You have a chunk of decent, fresh wood at your disposal. Instead of throwing it away, why not get your toolbox out and get creating? You could make ornaments for the garden, Christmas ornaments for next year, or even furniture. The only limit is your imagination!

Mulch it

Image credit: Pixabay
Image credit: Pixabay

For a small fee, a local landscaping company will be more than happy to turn your Christmas tree into woodchip, which you can then use on your compost heap, or around the garden as mulch. Pine needles can be used in this way too.

Create a habitat with it

Use your tree to create a happy habitat for creatures in your garden; all manner of animals could benefit from the warmth, protection from predators, and somewhere to store food over the winter months.

Eat it

Image credit: Pixabay
Image credit: Pixabay

No, really! Pine needles are edible, and whilst they wouldn’t make a very fulfilling meal by themselves, they work great in hot water as a tea, or as a flavour infusion in various sauces and marinades. Just ensure your tree is the edible kind first (i.e. not a yew, as they are poisonous), and wash them thoroughly.

Recycle it

You can take your Christmas tree to your local recycling centre. What happens next will vary by area, but Leeds City Council will compost it and use it as a soil conditioner in land restoration projects.

Feed the elephants

Image credit: Pixabay
Image credit: Pixabay

I realise this isn’t a practical suggestion, but I thought I’d mention it anyway. Several zoos in Germany feed their elephants a festive treat of Christmas trees on New Year’s Eve. Deer, sheep and camels also enjoy this feast. It is thought that pine oil may aid digestion is some animals, and the action of eating the trees (3 a day!) also cleans the elephants’ teeth.

Featured image credit: Pixabay