How to Recycle Christmas Trees
If you celebrate with a real Christmas tree, consider recycling the tree once the festivities end instead of sending it to the landfill. Photo by CanStock/g215
Christmas trees are the centerpiece of our Christmas decorations. But if you celebrate with a real tree, you’ll have to decide how to dispose of it once the holiday is over.
You have some good options for recycling the tree instead of sending it to the landfill. Consider one of these suggestions from our Extension specialists:
- Use municipal recycling services. Some large cities collect trees and shred them into mulch. To find out if the city offers curb-side pick-up or drop off, call the city’s public works department.
- Sink the tree in a pond or lake to provide habitat for fish. Keep in mind tree species commonly used as Christmas trees decompose quickly. Cedar trees last a little longer but will need to be anchored. If the lake or pond does not belong to you, always get permission.
- Buy a live Christmas tree. Live trees are grown in pots and can be transplanted into the landscape once the holiday season is over. Most real trees are adaptable to dry sites with good drainage and full sunlight.
- Use them as wildlife habitat in the home landscape. Prop them up or place them on the ground away from high-activity areas, such as walkways and driveways. Backyard bird species and small mammals, including Eastern chipmunks and native mice, will use them as cover and to forage under for food. If you stand them up, you can hang homemade suet feeders or pinecones covered in peanut butter and black oil sunflower seeds.
CAUTION: If you decide to use the tree as fish habitat or in your backyard, be sure to remove all decorations and tinsel. These items can be dangerous, and even deadly, to wildlife if they consume them or become entangled.
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