How to recycle your Christmas tree


Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are thou branches! After a festive season which has seen your Christmas tree take centre stage for all the festivities it can be quite a sad moment when you drag the tree out into the garden for the binmen to collect. However, there are a number of other ways to dispose of your tree that feel slightly less brutal. Here we dig a little deeper into the ways your Christmas tree can keep providing joy (just in a slightly different way)!


Turn the needles into blueberries!

Leaving the needles to drop fully provides gardeners with a lovely mulch for acid-loving plants such as blueberries, pelargoniums, short-leaved stonecrop, narcissus, anemone and bird’s nest fern.

Make home décor

Using the trunk, it is easy to make wooden coasters and placemats for your home. Simply chop, sand and stain to avoid sap leakage and voila, beautiful homemade accessories!


Use your tree as a frame for climbing trees

A naked tree need not be embarrassed as it can be clothed in the stunning colours of climbers such as sweet peas. Simply strip the tree of excess branches and twigs, and plant the bare tree where climbers are to grow. Any smaller branches removed can be left to dry and used as natural plant supports come summer.

Turn your tree into woodchip mulch

Ok we said slightly less brutal and sending your Christmas tree through a shredder might not fit the brief, but woodchip mulch is a superb use for trees. The mulch not only disposes of the tree in a much more sustainable fashion, but your garden will show you just how much it appreciates it come summertime.

Once shredded, leave the wood chips at the back of the borders to rot down before using it to mulch around trees, shrubs and flowering bulbs from March onwards.

Turn your tree into a wildlife shelter

A deadwood habitat is always a firm favourite with creepy crawlies so why not chop up your tree and bundle together to create a natural habitat for wildlife in your garden. Hang from a tree or stack together in a quiet nook and watch the new neighbours move in.

Use branches as a blanket for sensitive plants

Plants that remain outdoors year-round can be susceptible to winter damage if temperatures plummet too low. If you don’t have the option of bringing them under cover then cut Christmas tree branches can provide a lovely warm cover. Simply lay over the soil and they’ll give the roots a nice layer of protection during the coldest nights.

Let the home fires burn

After the needles have dropped, simply cut up your tree and leave to dry out for a few months to make firewood for your wood burner or firepit come summer.


Donate your tree

Most councils in the UK operate a green waste scheme where trees can be collected and made into mulch and compost. Alternatively, contact your local garden centre or nature reserve in case they operate a similar scheme for low-cost natural mulch or compost. Coastal areas often use Christmas trees to support sand dunes and reduce coastal erosion so do look out for ways to donate to these causes.

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