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What To Do With Your Old Christmas Tree

Photo courtesy of GOV.UK


As the festive period begins to wind down, the New Year readily approaches and people gear up to resume everyday life, you may be wondering what to do with the large imposing tree nestled somewhere in your home that is beginning to wither and look out of place.


Taking down the Christmas tree seems like a daunting task. After all, putting it up was no easy feat. Understandably, there may be some reluctance and slight hesitation as you ponder when the appropriate time is to take it down.


Even when you have removed the decoration from the tree, there is still the matter of disposing of the tree itself, which can be rather cumbersome.


And you’re not the only one to feel that way. Roughly 8 million Christmas trees are bought each year in the UK according to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) which means you’re not alone in this endeavour.


Many people opt for artificial Christmas trees rather than natural ones because those don’t shed their needles and, therefore, do not worry their owners about how to dispose of them annually.


However, for families that choose to go for the classic real one, it can be a hassle once the trees have dried out.


If you’re traditional, it is the custom to take down your tree on the twelfth night which, depending on the practices that you follow, is either January 5 or 6 in the New Year.


Though there is no shame in keeping your Christmas tree well into late January, you may find it harder to have the tree disposed of as many organisations only offer to collect your old tree within a certain time period. Nonetheless, you are granted multiple options that may help you minimise the hassle with the old tree.


Some local authorities in the UK will allow you to drop off your Christmas tree at a nearby recycling centre. Alternatively, you may book collections from home in early January. These trees usually will be mulched and used for open green spaces.


There are also dozens of charity organisations that will collect and recycle your tree in exchange for a small donation such as JustHelping and Demelza.


Some BCTGA members offer recycling services that let you return your tree to the farm where it came from. Then, it can be chipped and sown in the fields.


Another option is to contact your local garden centre or nature reserve to see if they want your old tree.



If you purchased a tree with its roots still intact, it might be possible to replant it in your garden or in a pot of compost so that it will survive until next year, ready for another Christmas.


If not, you can always repurpose your tree and create an animal shelter for woodland critters or repurpose some parts of the tree into decoration.


On the other hand, burning your Christmas tree in the garden or in a fireplace is strongly advised against as this is dangerous for your own house and neighbourhood. Furthermore, it will release the immense amount of carbon dioxide that the tree stored whilst it was growing, contributing to serious environmental consequences.


“If you re-plant your Christmas tree, or have it chipped to spread on the garden, that will significantly reduce the carbon footprint by up to 80% (around 3.5kg CO2e),” stated the Carbon Trust.


Whatever you decide is best, please do not just leave it outside your house and be sure to remove all decorations from the tree before you send it to a better place.


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