How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree After Christmas

There is nothing more lovely than a real tree, and nothing sadder than seeing them left out in the street come January!

We get it – they are big, bulky, and usually shedding pine-needles everywhere.

However, the cost of not recycling your tree is far greater than the time it would take to sort them out, we promise. Last year, it was estimated that 6 million trees were sold in Britain. The cost to landfill them? Approximately £13.9 million. It’s a no-brainer!

We’ve put together a handy guide with ways to recycle, whether you have a garden space to use or not. Whether you’re a country or city-dweller, there are many places you can get them recycled with relatively little effort. You could even make your own compost! Don’t be tempted to dump your tree on the street. Recycle, and help ensure that we can all have real christmas trees for years to come.


How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree in Your Garden


If you have your own garden, then you can (and probably already do) just leave it in a corner to break down. There are still a few things that you can do to ensure that you are making the most of it!

Shake it Off

If you can do so safely, remove the boughs and shake the pine needles out over your flowerbeds. The needles take longer to decompose and they actually act as protection from the frost for your bedding plants.

Try using the remaining trunk as a bird feeder. Prop it up against a wall or fence, or dig it into the ground and hang seeds and fat balls from the branch stubs. It will gradually decay, but it will be a welcome home to lots of garden creatures first.


Bear in mind that the tree wood needs to dry out before it can be burned (see our post on firewood for more info on that). Chop it, and cover it loosely til at least the end of the year and you’ll save on your firewood next Christmas!


If your tree came in a pot and with a root system, you could actually try replanting it. Somewhere a little shady is best. Depending on the size of your tree, you might even prefer to simply move it into a larger pot for the year and then pop it out in the garden. Then, you can reuse it next Christmas!


how to recycle your christmas tree


How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree When You Don’t Have a Garden


If you don’t have a garden, or you’d rather not have a tree taking up lots of space, then there are still plenty of options.

Use Your Brown Bin

This is only an option if you have a relatively small tree, and a way of cutting it up! You can use your brown bin only if you can get it closed once the tree is inside, or if you have cut it to fit.

Take it to a Recycling Centre

If you have a way of transporting it, then you can easily recycle your tree at your local centre. Most will have a section for garden waste. Glasgow City Council has information about local recycling centres on their website.

Take it to a Drop-Off Point

In Glasgow, a few places are drop-off points for real trees. They are collected and then made into mulch or wood chips for the parks. You can drop them off between January 3rd and January 19th at the following locations:

  • Pollok Park, Burrell Car Park
  • Alexandra Park, off Alexandra Parade, car park next to the golf course
  • Kelvingrove Park, Kelvin Way, grass area opposite the bandstand

Have you got any creative ways to recycle your real christmas tree come January? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to share more ideas!

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