After the Holidays: Tips to Removing & Recycling the Christmas Tree

The pine needles from the Christmas tree are beginning to fall. Find out how to remove and recycle your real Christmas tree.

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It was fun dressing up the Christmas tree before the holiday, but now post-Christmas, it’s time remove the real Christmas tree before more pine needles fall and litter the floor.

Rather than add to the landfill, recycle your real tree. There are approximately 33 million real Christmas trees sold each year in North America, according to the National Christmas Tree Association, and by recycling the trees it can all be put to good use.

Real Christmas trees can be recycled to chips to use as mulch around shrubs, flowerbeds and to even help with beachfront erosion barriers. If you have a potted Christmas tree, consider planting it after the holidays or donating it to a local school or nursing home that would like to have trees planted in their grounds.

The options for recycling a Christmas tree are plentiful with drop-off locations and pick-up dates in many local communities. Even select Home Depot locations are participating in Christmas tree recycling and accepting drop-offs. To check for local tree recycling options, check Earth911 (click on “Recycle Search” at the top of the page and search “Christmas Trees” with your zip code).

Tips to Getting Your Tree Ready for Drop-Off or Pick-Up

  • Remove all decorative material and the tree stand. It should only bear what’s naturally part of the tree.
  • Any leftover pine needles on the floor is better off swept up. Pine needles can clog vacuum cleaners.
  • Cut oversized trees to length. In some locales it should not be more than 4 feet in length or it must fit inside your yard waste container.
  • Check the schedule - most curbside pick-ups take place for two weeks after Christmas.

Source: National Christmas Tree Association

Photo by Marcelo Terraza, via Free Images.