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What to Do with a Natural Christmas Tree after Christmas

The United States goes through 25-30 million natural Christmas trees every year. What happens to all of them after Christmas is over? Here are some safe ways to dispose of a natural Christmas tree.

Can You Mulch a Natural Christmas Tree?

Mulching is one of the best ways to repurpose a natural Christmas tree. Some Christmas tree recycling centers will mulch your tree for you if you bring it by. This mulch can be used to insulate plant roots and nourish your landscaping as is breaks down.

If there is not a mulching tree service in your area, you could pull off the pine needles or chop them up with a lawnmower to make mulch.

Can You Compost a Real Christmas Tree?

You can compost the branches of your real Christmas tree. The needles will slow down the composting process, so they’re best left for mulch. The smaller the branches are when they go in the composter, the faster they’ll break up. Take advantage of tree mulching services available to you to turn your tree into a compost starter.

Is It Safe to Burn a Christmas Tree?

No, it is typically not safe to burn a Christmas tree. There are several reasons why. For starters, the tree would need to dry out for approximately two months before it would be considered safe to burn. You could store the tree for that long, but most homeowners want to quickly dispose of their trees after the holidays.

The sap, pine needles and wood from natural Christmas trees produces a lot of creosote, which can clog the inner lining of your chimney and create fire hazards. If you burn the tree outside in your fire pit, you’ll still be releasing dangerous chemicals into the air. Needles and other small debris can fly away from the fire and ignite an area nearby. Avoid these issues by opting for one of the other suggestions on this list.

You Can Recycle Your Christmas Tree

When all else fails, you can recycle your Christmas tree. Many cities have Christmas tree recycling programs at the end of the year. The timing and requirements may vary by area, but someone will pick up your used tree and dispose of it safely.