Recycle Your Christmas Tree - Indiana Yard and Garden - Purdue Consumer Horticulture

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Though it may give you the blues to take down your holiday tree, you can find solace in recycling your tree in the landscape.

Winter birds will appreciate using the tree for cover in your backyard, especially if you decorate it with bird food ornaments. Be sure to remove tinsel, plastic and other non-recyclable ornaments. 

Suet, molded seeds or disposable birdseed hangers should be readily available from garden centers and bird supply shops. Homemade treats, such as pine cones or stale bread smeared with peanut butter and rolled in birdseed, are also a hit. 

You’ll need to secure the trunk to the ground to prevent it from rolling away in winter winds. You can attach the tree to a stable support with wire or twine or use stakes to secure the tree to the ground.

Christmas trees can also be recycled to use as mulch around the landscape. You can chop or grind smaller branches for wood chips to use in flower, tree and shrub beds. Larger branches can be cut into smaller bundles for winter protective mulch around newly planted perennials and small shrubs. Be sure to remove the branches in spring, when the plants begin to grow again.  


Many communities have special pick-up service for discarded holiday trees. The trees are usually chipped up for use as mulch in parks and other city properties. Check local newspapers, or call the local street department for specific information in your area.

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Disclaimer: Reference to products is not intended to be an endorsement to the exclusion of others which may have similar uses. Any person using products listed in these articles assumes full responsibility for their use in accordance with current directions of the manufacturer.
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