Christmas: Here is what to do with your tree after the holidays

The festive season hasn't even begun yet, but we're already asking ourselves the annual question: how do you (properly) dispose of your tree after Christmas?

Christmas tree time dispose winter
© Frames for your heart / Unsplash
Christmas tree time dispose winter

Buying a Christmas tree is a cherished moment for most families, as is decorating it. However, once Santa's gone, the tree quickly starts to look a bit grey - unless you follow all the tips for keeping it looking good throughout the festive season. Then comes the not-so-fun phase: getting rid of the tree. But how do you go about it?

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Although sidewalks are sometimes littered with abandoned trees, it's important to remember that it's forbidden to throw your tree anywhere, on pain of a fine of up to £150. There are several ways to avoid this.

Collection points all over the UK

The easiest way to retire your Christmas tree is to go to a specialized recycling center. The majority of British towns and cities have set up recycling schemes or collection points. In London, for example, 141 collection points are open until January 24. Other major cities offer similar solutions.

However, to be recovered, your tree must be natural. No artificial trees. It must also have no 'additions', i.e. it must be entrusted without decorationsof course, but also without artificial snow. The tree must not be wrapped in a bag, and it must not be artificial either.

Trees recovered in this way are most often shredded for later reuse, for example in public green spaces. In 2017, 54,000 trees were recovered in this way, producing 870 cubic meters of shredded material.

Take your tree to the waste disposal center

If there is no collection point in your town, you can take your Christmas trees directly to the waste disposal center. Some have even set up special processing to give them a second life. For example, they are mixed with other green waste to make compost. If your tree is painted or decorated with artificial snow, the waste disposal center will also be the appropriate solution.

Replanting your tree

If you have a garden, you might consider using the tree yourself to make compost or wood. Better still, if the tree hasn't been cut down and still has roots, you could consider replanting it. As long as the ground isn't frozen, you can dig a hole to install your tree. It's then important to water it well.

But don't forget to set aside plenty of space for the tree, as it grows fast and can easily exceed 15 meters in height! Planters be warned.

Buy your tree from a store that collects them after Christmas

If you haven't thought about it this year, there's another solution next year. Some retailers are offering their customers a system for collecting their Christmas trees once Christmas is over. For example, Ikea is offering a 19-euro discount voucher to customers who bring in their Christmas trees after the holidays.

Some go even further, offering trees for rent. A case in point is, which since 2012 has been collecting all trees 'adopted' after Christmas and giving them a second life. A concept that remains confidential for the time being, but gains new fans every year.

Read more:

This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree, as per experts

Have a real Christmas tree? Beware of this ‘clump’ that must be removed immediately

Here is what your Christmas tree says about your personality

How to make your Christmas tree last longer

This Is The Real Reason Your Cat Insists On Destroying Your Christmas Tree

This article has been translated from Gentside FR.

Make sure you stay on Santa's 'nice list' with these eco-friendly Christmas tips! Make sure you stay on Santa's 'nice list' with these eco-friendly Christmas tips!