How to Recycle or Reuse your Christmas Tree

2 January 2020


It's time to bid-farewell to our beloved Christmas trees. If you're not sure where to start then read on for our top suggestions which include properly recycling and even re-using your trees!

Recycling your Christmas Tree

There are plenty of environmentally- and taxpayer-friendly ways to dispose of your Christmas tree in January.
There are some designated communal collection points where you can drop off your Christmas tree, once it has been stripped of decorations of course. These trees are then shredded into chippings which are used locally in parks or woodland areas. Alternatively, real trees can be composted by placing them in a green waste skip at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. You can find your nearest recycling area here. 

If you are unable to transport your tree, we have sourced some advice from Cardiff Council about how to properly dispose of them at home: 
"Real Christmas trees can be composted by placing them out for collection on your garden waste collection day. If you live in a wheeled bin area, cut your tree up and place it into your green wheeled bin. If you live in a bag area, you do not need to cut your tree up to place in your white bio-bags. Place it next to your recycling and food waste. If you have a plastic Christmas tree, store it and re-use it next year. If you no longer have a need for it, please place into your general waste or take it to a local recycling centre."

Reuse your Christmas Tree in your own garden

Christmas tree recycling and reusing tips There are lots of ways you can put your Christmas tree to good use, so don't despair after the decorations are down! There is no need to take it anywhere if you can reuse it in your garden to benefit your own plants and wildlife. Here are a few ideas:

  • Those lovely long Christmas tree branches make a great mulch for perennial plants. Just cut off the branches you want to use and lay them over your soil.
  • Shred them up and add the tree cuttings to your compost pile. A great way to add material into the future of your garden soil.
  • Why not chop up your tree and use it as plant markers or stakes. The trunk especially will be very sturdy and can be used to support other plants or shrubs.

If you have a live Christmas tree and can’t bear to part with it, why not replant it in your garden? The tree will prove an excellent shelter for birds during the cold winter months, and you can hang fat-balls, apples and nuts to keep the birds well-fed. At the time of purchase, your tree will have already been dormant, it’s important that this state of dormancy has been preserved to help your tree survive once it’s been replanted. If you’re worried your tree may have come out of dormancy while indoors, you can place your tree in a cold, sheltered area to allow it to re-enter dormancy. If the ground is likely to freeze, digging a hole in advance will make things easier. Place your tree in the hole and backfill. Cover the hole with several inches of mulch, and water thoroughly.

Re-purpose your Christmas Tree

There are endless crafty ways to re-purpose every part of your tree. Here are just a few suggestions.

Rustic Coasters:

The branches and trunk of your tree can be fashioned into rustic coasters, as suggested by the 'Thrifty Below' blog.
 Select a piece of wood with a decent girth to ensure your glass or mug will fit. Use a band saw or hand saw to cut your wood into ½ inch segments. Don’t worry if they aren't completely straight, as an electric sander will smooth out any rough edges and unevenness. Use a wood stain of your choice and seal to avoid any unsightly rings.

Pine Needle Sachet

If you can’t get enough of that pine tree scent, why not harvest the branches of your pine tree and make scented sachets for drawers and wardrobes, an idea suggested by The Cavender Diary blog. A great way to use up any scraps of leftover fabric, these fragrant sachets are also an inexpensive gift idea for next Christmas. Gather the needles from your tree in a bowl. Sew together two identically-sized swatches of your chosen fabric, leaving a two-inch gap. Next, turn your newly-sewn sachet inside out, fill it with pine needles and stitch up the remaining hole.

Pine Needle Pot Pourri
Fill a large bowl with dried stems from your pine tree, or fallen needles. Next, add some lemon and orange rind, a cinnamon stick, whole cloves and some nutmeg to the mixture. To store it, place the mixture in jars or wrap in newspaper.


(information & images sourced from: