What to Do with Your Christmas Tree

After the holidays

You're green at heart. You love the idea of a potted, live Christmas tree you can reuse year after year. It's just that—for whatever reason—you bought a regular Christmas tree this year. And you’ll need to dispose of it soon.

Take heart. Most Christmas trees can be recycled into mulch. Try to find a drop-off location in your community. Some towns offer curbside pickup and free mulching because they use the mulch for municipal landscaping or sell it at a discount to gardeners.

If your community doesn’t offer curbside pickup—or some other recycling option—there are other ways to reuse your tree.

1. Consider placing the tree at the edge of your property to create a winter shelter for birds and small animals.

2.  Cut off a few boughs and spread them over your garden as a protective winter mulch.

3. Spread small branches with an edible, naturally sticky substance like peanut butter or shortening. Dip the branches in birdseed, and you’ve created a natural bird feeder. Tie the nourishing branches to other trees in your yard.

4. Cut the trunk of your Christmas tree into small logs, and store them in a dry place. They’ll be ready to burn next year. If you don’t have a fireplace, gift the logs to someone who does!

Tree Facts

  • 98% of Christmas trees are grown on farms.
  • About 60 million new seedlings are planted by Christmas tree farmers in North America each year.
  • 85% of artificial trees are made in China.
  • The states that grow the most Christmas trees are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington.