Bringing a live Christmas tree into your home makes the holiday magical. And once the distinct aroma of fresh pine fills the room and its bristled branches shine with lights, it gets harder and harder to say farewell to this holiday gem.

Fortunately, your treasured tree doesn’t have to be kicked to the curb. Read on to learn five creative and eco-friendly tips for recycling a Christmas tree after the holidays.

5 Ways to Repurpose a Live Christmas Tree

1. Find a Christmas Tree Drop-Off Area in Your City

Recycled trees do good deeds for the community, like providing mulch for playgrounds or a habitat for local fish.

Your city may host a Christmas tree recycling event. For example, Atlanta’s Bring One for the Chipper event recently celebrated 25 years of tree recycling by collecting more than 100,000 trees in 2016 alone. And half of those were chipped by Davey Tree Experts!

Check with your city government for details on tree recycling.

2. DIY Plant Nutrients

Or you can recycle your Christmas tree right at home. Pine needles make a great moisturizing mulch. Also, branches can be shredded into heavier mulch or cut into small circles to line a flower bed. Over time, the mulch adds a boost of nutrients to the soil.

3. Spice Up Your Home

If you’re creative, you can ensure your cherished tree never even leaves the house. Pluck out pine needles, and add them to a bowl of potpourri for a natural air freshener.

The branches can be transformed into rustic wood coasters, candleholders or other crafty items. Get inspired by this tree branch lamp shade.

4. Fire Up the Wood

Who doesn’t love lighting a fire pit to make late night s’mores or stay cozy in an outdoor space?

Chop your old Christmas tree branches into firewood, and wait for them to completely dry before use. Don’t use the wood indoors, though. It can get extremely hot and cause a fire hazard.

5. Plant It!

Replanting a Christmas tree is possible, but there a few things you should know.

First, you can’t replant trees that have been cut or have a damaged root ball. Next, consider where the tree was in your home. Did it sit near any vents or heaters? Warmer conditions could have dried the tree out, meaning it can’t be revived.

If your tree was in a generally cool area indoors, like near a window, take these steps to plant it:

  • Plant right after Christmas. If you’re in a cold climate and the ground isn’t prime for planting, mulch the tree and set it aside in a cold, sheltered area until the temperature warms up. In the meantime, water the tree every few weeks.

  • When it’s ready to go, place the tree in a hole, cover it and seal with mulch and water. All the info you need here.

  • Keep the tree well-watered throughout the growing season.

Encourage your friends and family to reuse and recycle their Christmas tree by sharing this blog post on Facebook!

Related Blog Posts

How To Decorate Front Porch For Winter
Property Maintenance & Landscaping

This Winter, Decorate Your Porch to Impress

While it may seem overwhelming, decorating for the seasons doesn't have to be. Try some of these winter front porch decor suggestions to brighten up your holidays.
Read More
Wrapping Outdoor Trees With Christmas Lights
Property Maintenance & Landscaping

How to Safely Hang Outdoor Lights: The Dos and Don’ts

Outdoor tree lighting requires a few extra steps to make sure they are safely decorated without damaging trees. Get a step-by-step tutorial with tips and tricks on how to put Christmas lights on your outdoor trees; as well as a few don’ts to keep in mind.
Read More

Sign Up For Free Tree & Landscaping Tips! 

Subscribe to the "The Sapling," the Davey Blog's email newsletter, for the latest tips to keep your outdoor space in tip-top shape throughout the year.

Plus, receive a free instant download of our landscape seasonal checklists when you sign up!

Get In Touch With Us!

We pride ourselves at Davey Tree on providing prompt, professional and personalized service from certified arborists that live, work and engage in your community. Contact one of our Davey Tree specialists for your residential, commercial, utility, or environmental needs.

Let's Find What
You're Looking For!

Davey uses cookies to make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer you the most relevant content. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. View our Privacy Policy for more information.