How to Recycle your Christmas Tree

Real Christmas trees are totally recyclable. As Christmas comes to a close and we take all our decorations down please don't forget to dispose of your tree responsibly.

There are many ways your real Christmas tree can be recycled and reused. Here are our tree recycling ideas…

BCTGA Member Christmas Tree Recycling

Many BCTGA members offer Christmas tree recycling services where your used Christmas tree can be returned to the farm. Your tree can then be chipped and returned to the fields where it grew. Contact your local member for more details on collection and drop off details.

Recycle for Charity

Many charities now run Christmas tree recycling schemes where they collect and recycle your tree in exchange for a donation. These schemes are a great way to help support a local charity. You normally need to pre register your tree collection so check online or in your local paper for details. JustHelping is one UK charity which partners with hospices and community groups to manage Christmas tree collections throughout the country.

Local Recycling Centre

Check with your local council for details on their Christmas tree recycling service. Some local councils set up Christmas tree drop off points or collect trees to be recycled. The trees can be mulched and used in local parks or green spaces. You can find your local recycling centre here.

In the garden

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, or know someone who does, there are many ways you can use your tree.

Christmas tree needles are ericaceous so they are acidic. They can be used as mulch for plants such as blueberries and rhododendrons.

If you have plants that need a bit of protection from the frost you can lay branches from your Christmas tree over them. Once spring has sprung you can remove them and either trim the branches to use as a natural support for climbers or cut them down and put in your green waste bin.

Create a wildlife sanctuary

Your used Christmas tree can create the ideal habitat for the wildlife in your garden. Use as part of a ‘bug hotel’ or simply create a small pile of branches in a quiet corner of your garden – you will be surprised how many bugs, insects and maybe even a hedgehog may make it their home.

Branches also create a natural perch for birds, try hanging some feeders from them and see which birds you attract to your garden or outdoor space.

Feeling Creative?

Natural Coasters –You can cut your tree trunk into thin slices and create your very own coasters. Allow your trunk to dry to avoid splitting then simply cut into slices, sand, add any decoration and seal them.  

Christmas Tree Potpourri – Not ready to let go of that amazing Christmas scent yet? Why not make easy, natural potpourri using your Christmas tree branches. Simply take some clippings from your tree, and try adding dried citrus fruits, cinnamon sticks or cloves.

Living Trees

If you’ve got a pot grown Christmas tree, you can grow it on to use next year. Your pot grown tree will benefit from being reacclimatised to colder temperatures before being put back outside. As your tree grows you will need to check to see if it needs to be replanted in a larger pot, once it is too big for a pot it can be planted in the ground. Once outside, keep your pot grown tree well watered during prolonged dry, hot spells. It may also benefit from a feed during the growing season.