Now that Christmas is over, slowly but surely the time is coming where we must say goodbye to the Christmas trees in our homes. The beautifully decorated evergreen tree has provided joy, festivity, and comfort to homes the past several weeks, and it can be difficult to say goodbye.
On the bright side, real Christmas trees are biodegradable! This is a great key factor which allows you to recycle your Christmas tree and continue spreading joy for plants and animals, even now that the holiday season is over.
There are many ways you can recycle your Christmas tree—here are eight.
Drop It Off or Have It Picked Up!
- Drop it off at a Recycling Center: For the next two weeks, local counties (Fairfax, Arlington, Montgomery) will be offering curbside pickup for real Christmas trees.
- Have it Picked Up Curbside or by a Nonprofit: Recycling your tree at a local waste disposal center will only cost you a mere $1.00 (which goes a long considering the environmental benefits!). You can also call a local nonprofit to come pick up and recycle your tree, sometimes in exchange for a small donation.
Use It For Your Garden!
- Mulch your garden: Christmas tree branches can be removed and chipped or cut into thinner pieces to enhance and nourish your plants. Mulching your garden with pine needles will augment the soil and help your plants through the cold weather ahead of them.
- Ash your garden: Unlike coal ash, the ash from burned wood can promote plant health. The ashes can be spread into the garden and can even ward off insects!
- Insulate Your Garden: Seasonal factors can stress plants and cause them to need extra care and attention. By insulating your garden with branches from your Christmas tree, you can help your plants maintain a steady temperature and help them through the seasonal changes.
Help Local Critters!
- Feed Birds: Another great idea for your yard, but one that focuses on helping local birds, is reusing your tree by creating a bird feeder and sanctuary out of it – just be sure to leave the tree in its stand!
- Feed Fish: You can easily recycle your Christmas tree by sinking it into a local fish pond and letting gravity do the work. Over time, algae will form which will feed and protect the fish as well as create a potential breeding ground. Just be sure to ask your local officials first!
- Provide a Habitat: Instead of keeping the tree up and in its stand for birds, you can alternatively lay it on its side for small critters like rabbits to find shelter in.
As a tree service company working to provide the best for nature, in our eyes real Christmas trees are better than fake. The reason goes beyond the coziness and natural scent evergreens provide—unlike fake trees, real Christmas trees are great for the environment.
To name a few benefits, real Christmas trees help fight climate change, support forests, and provide clean air and water. In contrast, fake Christmas trees burn fossil fuels and are not recyclable – which means they aren’t able to provide any of the great benefits we’ve listed.
Recycling Christmas trees is merely scratching the surface, but can go miles in doing what’s right for nature. So, next year, consider giving a gift to nature by searching for an all-natural real Christmas tree to add to your home.