How to recycle a Christmas tree – Five genius ways to use your tree post-December

Make sure you dispose of your Christmas tree responsibly
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  • As the time comes to wrap up the fairy lights and finish of the last chocolate in the Quality Street tin, your thoughts might have turned to taking the tree down. Artificial trees can be wrapped up for next year, but a real version needs to be recycled carefully.

    Related: Christmas tree light hacks – avoid the dreaded tangle when taking the lights down!

    When it comes to how to recycle a Christmas tree, if you don’t have a garden waste bin you will need to put in a call to the council to take it away. However, before you call the council, there are a whole host of ways to get a few extra uses of your Christmas tree before it goes in a shredder. 

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    Image credit: Clare Richardson

    Real Christmas trees aren’t cheap. Many trees over 5ft can cost upwards of £40. So it is important to get as much as possible out of your purchase. 

    From creating a drinks coasters to scenting your home, Squire’s Garden Centres have shared five creative uses for your Christmas tree post-December.

    How to recycle your Christmas tree

    1. Turn it into a natural air freshener

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    Image credit: Squire’s Garden Centres

    Make the most of that gorgeous pine scent by plucking out the pine needles and adding them to a bowl of potpourri. 

    2. Transform the trunk into a home accessory

    If you’re handy with a saw and sander, a Christmas tree trunk is the perfect raw material to transform into drinks coasters, tealight holders, coat wrack or even a bannister. Before committing to this project make sure you have space to dry the wood before using it. A garage or garden shed will do the trick.

    3. Use the branches to protect your garden

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    Image credit: Squire’s Garden Centres

    The Christmas tree branches are the perfect way to protect your flowerbeds and vegetable patch from frost during the winter. But the branches off and layer over the top to make sure your garden survive the snow and frost and is flourishing come spring.

    4. Cut up as wood for an outdoor firepit

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    Image credit: Alasdair McIntosh

    Current circumstances have catapulted outdoor firepits from a Love Island luxury to a household essential. This type of wood is perfect for fueling an outdoor fire to keep warm during socially distanced meet-ups. However, don’t be tempted to burn the wood inside as it burns incredibly hot and can be dangerous.

    5. Turn your Christmas tree into mulch

    Rather than shelling out on mulch and compost to feed your garden, you can use your old Christmas tree. If you have a shredder at home, you can pass it through that. Just be sure to cut the tree into small sections first. Or take it to a recycling centre where they can shred it for you.

    Related: How to make money from recycling common household items – from print cartridges to tea towels

    If you have invested in a real Christmas tree, don’t just leave it on the side of the road for someone else to deal with. Make sure you recycle it responsibly.

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