Your Christmas tree has served you well during the Holiday season, but it’s time to take down the tree. What do you do with it? If you have an artificial tree, you fold it up and put it in a storage bag or box until next year. If you have a real tree, it can continue to serve you or the community well after it leaves your home. Here are eight ways to recycle your Christmas tree.
1. Curbside pickup.
Many cities across the U.S. offer curbside pickup for old Christmas trees. These cities mulch the trees and use the mulch in city parks or bag it and give it to citizens. For those who live in Minneapolis, Solid Waste and Recycling customers may leave their trees alongside their garbage carts before 6 am on regular garbage day. If the tree is 6 feet or taller, it needs to be cut in half.
2. Drop your tree off at a designated communal collection point.
Not all towns have curbside pickup but most have a drop off point. As with curbside pickup, these trees are then shredded into mulch for use by the city Parks and Rec department.
3. Mulch it for your personal use.
Put your Christmas tree in your yard to provide shelter for small animals until Spring arrives and then mulch it for use around shrubs and trees. As mulch decomposes it releases nutrients into the soil.
4. Create a protective layer for outdoor plants.
Remove the branches and use them to create a protective layer from heavy snow for shrubs and perennials in your yard. Over time the branches will decompose and, like mulch, add nutrients to the soil.
5. Create a birdfeeder.
Place your tree, stand and all, outside. Hang bird feeders from the limbs, fill them with black-oil sunflower seeds and watch the birds flock to it. Black oil sunflower seeds are a great winter food for birds because they are high in fat so they provide energy.
Cut your tree up and use it for firewood.
7. Create fish habitats.
Whole trees that are submerged in lakes and ponds serve as fish habitats. They provide protection for small fish and offer a protective environment for fish to lay eggs.
8. Replant your tree.
This choice needs to be made ahead of time because you’ll need to buy a tree with its root ball intact and care for it during the Holiday season. Then when you’re ready to replant the tree, make sure the root ball is still intact before digging a hole.
Flocked trees cannot be recycles. If you have a flocked tree, contact your trash removal company to see if they will dispose of your tree. Otherwise you’ll need to take it to the dump yourself.
For more information on any of these, or if you have questions, please contact Bloomington Tree Care.