Tips And Alternatives For Christmas Tree Disposal
“Dried Christmas trees can be a real fire hazard, especially if, as some people have done, the tree is set on fire as a means of disposing of it,” Stafford said. “Depending on the location and circumstances, this could start a wildfire.”
Stafford said there are a number of safer — and more creative — ways to dispose of a real Christmas tree. Many local recycling centers have free drop-off locations where they will chip and shred the tree. She said some other applications for used Christmas trees might include:
- Cutting up the tree and using the firewood for small and carefully planned campfires.
- Mulching the tree and using it in landscaping beds.
“Composting is another great way to dispose of your Christmas tree and extend its use,” Stafford said. “The branches from your tree make a good base for a compost pile. If you take your tree to a chipper, you can use the resulting mulch in your compost heap. Compost makes great natural fertilizer.”
- Chip it. Some local communities will host chipping days after Christmas to provide a safe way to dispose of trees.
- Cut the trunk into small pieces and use it as pathway edging.
- If feasible, toss the tree in a pond to create a fish habitat and help produce nutrients for aquatic life.
In addition, many communities offer curbside pickup of Christmas trees for recycling once the holiday season is over. Best practices for preparing Christmas trees for community waste pickup include:
- Making sure all ornaments, ribbons, tinsel, lights and other decorations are removed.
- Cutting the tree into four-foot sections or shorter.
- Chopping smaller trees into pieces small enough to fit inside the waste can.
The Pick Your Own Christmas Tree site has an alphabetical listing of Texas cities where people can recycle their Christmas tree.
A flocked tree can’t be recycled and shouldn’t be turned into mulch. Instead, cut it into pieces for disposal. However, some local waste management departments will not accept flocked trees for disposal, so check for specific department guidelines.