After the holidays, don’t throw your Real Christmas Tree in the trash. Real Christmas Trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes.  Here are some recycling options and tips on what to do with your tree after the holidays.  Every community is different, but in general, you have these options:

Curbside pick-up for recycling:

Most areas will collect trees during their regular pickup schedules on the two weeks following Christmas.  There are often requirements for size, removing ornaments, flocking, etc.

Take your tree to a drop off recycling center:

Many counties, cities and/or townships have free local drop-off locations. Usually, you may take up to two trees to a drop-off location at no charge. Check with your own municipality for more details.

Yard waste:

Cut the tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container.

Tree recycling/mulching programs:

Tree recycling and mulching programs are a fast-growing trend in communities throughout the nation.  Check with your local municipality for information. Some chip and shred the trees, then make the mulch available for use in your garden.  Your hauler will notify you of pick-up dates in your area. Be sure to check with your local hauler.

(Source: The National Christmas Tree Association)

So what happens to all those recycled trees?   There are five main types of large-scale uses for post-harvest Christmas trees:

  • Chippings for mulch used in playgrounds, hiking trails and gardens
  • Beachfront erosion prevention
  • Lake and river shoreline stabilization
  • Fish habitat
  • River delta sedimentation management

Real trees are GREEN in many other ways too!

  • More than 98% of real Christmas trees are grown on farms throughout the country.  They are grown to be harvested, just as corn or pumpkins are cultivated for harvest.
  • For each real Christmas tree harvested, up to three new seedlings are planted in its place.
  • Young trees in their rapid growth years have a high rate of photosynthesis, producing more oxygen than older trees.  One acre of Christmas trees produces the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people.
  • Artificial trees contain non‑biodegradable plastics and possible metal toxins such as lead.