6 Ways to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

With the holiday season coming to an end (sad face), this means putting away decorations–including your Christmas tree. If you have an artificial Christmas tree then you can easily put it in storage for the following years to come. However, those of you that get the real ones – you know the drill – have to find a way to dispose of it somehow. If you’re looking for more eco-friendly ways to dispose of your largest holiday décor, we’ve gathered up six ways to recycle your Christmas tree in the new year.

1. Fire Logs

No better feeling than cozying up and relaxing by the fire during this ever-so-cold winter season. Chop the trunk of the tree and utilize it as fire logs – just make sure that the logs are dry before burning. It’s important to note that some branches can create sparks, so it’s best not to burn those.

Arbor Day Foundation recommends using this type of firewood outdoors since evergreen Christmas trees tend to be heavy sap trees. Burning indoors is likely unsafe due to the flammability of the sap, as well as creosote build-up. Regardless, evergreens or trees with sap should be dried out for a couple months before being cut or burned. If you’re looking to start a bonfire outside, these logs will be perfect as they usually burn rather hot and fast.

2. Wooden Coasters

Repurpose the stump of your Christmas tree by turning it into wooden coasters! This is a trendy approach that you will likely find in home décor stores, so why not make some yourself? Just take a saw to your tree stump and cut approximately ⅓- or ½ inch thick disks

Timothy Dahl from Popular Mechanics shares more tips for these DIY coasters. First, you can use a miter saw or hacksaw to cut the trunk into coaster-like shapes. Then, the second step is the most important. Ensure that you sand down the coaster surfaces, as well as stain and seal them. This will help to prevent the sap from leaking – a common theme among evergreens.

3. Mulch

Another way to repurpose your Christmas tree after the holiday season is by turning it into mulch. This could mean wood chips over even the needles from the tree. Either way, mulch will help to keep the trees in your yard looking healthy during the cold winter months. Arbor Day Foundation explains, “Pine needles are full of nutrients that enhance the PH of your soil if it’s more alkaline and allow your soil to breathe without becoming dense and compacted.” In other words, pine needles dry rather fast and take a while to decompose, making them a great source of mold-free mulch in your yard. If you choose to make a compost pile, it’s suggested to mix water with the pine needles.

4. Fresheners 

If you love a good fresh pine scent, you can make fresheners out of your Christmas tree to make it smell like Christmas year round! Strip the needles from the tree if they are still green. Then, proceed to store them in paper bags or sachets to keep them as natural air fresheners.

A stack of K95 canned dog food sits next to a letter to Santa

5. Christmas Tree Rental

When it comes to choosing a sustainable Christmas tree option, consider renting a live Christmas tree from year to year. Companies like London Christmas Tree Rental allow customers to borrow real, potted Christmas trees. It’s a fairly simple process:

  1. Customers place their order on London Christmas Tree Rental’s website, and schedule a pickup to get their tree at one of the company’s hubs.
  2. Customers keep the potted Christmas tree healthy throughout the month of December by watering them daily. 
  3. After the holiday season, customers are expected to return the tree at the hub.
  4. The company takes them back to the farm to replant them.

Since the trees get replanted, most are able to live for at least another year. With that being said, a family may be able to rent the same tree again during the following holiday season. This is an efficient and effective way of recycling a Christmas tree.

6. Recycle Your Tree

Depending on where you are located, there may even be a Christmas Tree Recycling Site for you to drop off your tree. Popular Mechanics reminds us to check with the city or town government for these tree drop-off areas. If there is one located near you, it’s likely to be by a traditional recycling center. Trees that are brought here will be turned into mulch for areas around the city or town.

If you’re a fan of recycling and didn’t already know, our pet dry food & treat bags are recyclable through the Earthborn ReBorn Program and TerraCycle, an innovative recycling and upcycling company. Additionally, if you send in your UPC codes from any Earthborn Holistic dry food or treat product, we’ll plant a tree! Help us reach our goal of 1,000,000 trees planted by Earth Day 2022! Happy Christmas tree recycling! Love Your Pet. Love Your Planet.