Can I Recycle My Real Christmas Tree?

The gifts have been exchanged, the turkey consumed and the movie marathon is over. While you might not want to accept the end of Christmas quite yet, it’s time to start thinking about taking the decorations down and disposing of the waste. In these climate conscious times, more and more homeowners are putting more of an emphasis on the amount of waste their household produces – particularly over the Christmas period – and how this can be minimised as much as possible. 

In recent years, ‘treecycling’ has become a popular way of disposing of Christmas trees – this article will look into how this works and the steps you need to take if you are looking to recycle your real Christmas tree once all the celebrations are over. 

a real christmas tree in the wheelie bin

Why should I recycle my tree?

The millions of real trees ending up in landfill every year can create hundreds of thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases which is having a significant impact on the environment. Recycling real trees can dramatically reduce this number, as they can be shredded into chippings or composed as an eco-friendly solution. Alternatively, you might choose to take the tree back to its roots by replanting it in your garden to prolong the festivities! If you do choose to replant the tree, make sure you place it in your garage or shed first so that it can acclimatise to the colder weather conditions, as exposing it to cold temperatures too quickly can seriously harm the tree.

It’s worth noting that artificial trees cannot be recycled as they are typically made of a PVC material which can’t be recycled using traditional methods. That said, artificial trees can be reused year after year, so you can keep the same tree for a longer period of time. When the time eventually comes to dispose of your artificial tree, you can do so by donating, reselling, or even repurposing into new Christmas decorations.

How can I recycle my real Christmas tree?

Typically, there are a number of tree recycling schemes organised by local councils across the country, so you can dispose of your real Christmas tree in the most environmentally-friendly way possible. This usually takes the form of dedicated drop-off points or collections for complete convenience – simply check your local council’s website to find out where and when you can recycle your real Christmas tree in January. 

Alternatively, you can recycle your tree by chopping it up and disposing of it in your garden waste bin or taking it to the tip. 

How can I prepare my Christmas tree to be recycled?

You must make sure all tinsel and decorations are removed, and any stands or pots are disposed of separately. 

When should I throw away my real Christmas tree?

The signs of when to dispose of your real Christmas tree should be clear – it tends to be when the tree loses its smell and the needles on the branches begin to drop. This indicates that the tree is dry and it’s time to remove the tree from your property. 

So, when recycling your cards, wrapping paper and food packaging once the festivities are over this Christmas, why not try treecycling at the same time? It’s a quick and easy way to reduce the carbon footprint and improve your green credentials.


Here at Artemis Tree Services, we specialise in all types of specialist tree work, from tree felling and pollarding to maintenance and tree surveys. Our commitment to the environment means that every tree we cut is turned into biomass for an eco-friendly solution. Additionally, we will chip and recycle any real trees dropped to our yard free of charge. For further information or to arrange an appointment, simply get in touch with our experienced team today.