So the big day that we’ve all been waiting for has ended for another year! Christmas may feel like it’s been and gone in the blink of an eye but the leftovers still remain. It’s reported that 8 million Christmas trees are bought every year in the UK but what should you do with them afterwards? Don’t let the January blues take away your festive joy – turn the usually somber task of disposing of your Christmas tree into a rewarding one with our eco-friendly ideas of what to do with a Christmas tree after Christmas.

christmas tree

1. Replant your tree

If you’ve purchased a potted tree, you’ll be able to easily repot this or plant it in the ground in your garden once Christmas has passed. It’ll grow over the course of the year and if you decide to, you can recycle it again by using it for next Christmas. If you’ve bought a cut Christmas tree, it’s unfortunately not possible to replant it and reuse it for next year due to the roots system being removed and possibly left for weeks or months. However the good news is, we’ve got plenty more ideas below for you to take a look at so you can “treecycle” too!

2. Turn needle shedding into mulch

Believe it or not, Christmas trees make fantastic mulch that can be used around the base of your garden trees or plants. Mulching your plants will help protect their roots during winter; prevent soil erosion from rainfall; and it should stop the ground from freezing. Mulching with needles is the perfect top up for this time of year to keep your plants healthy and happy despite the colder weather.

To use your Christmas Tree as mulch, you can simply collect the fallen needles from the tree and spread them in a nice layer around the base of your plants or trees. If you wanted to go one step further and use some of the wood then you can also chop up the tree’s branches. If you’re able to borrow a shredder machine, this will be the best way to turn the chopped pieces up into smaller chips. However, do make sure that you wear safety equipment at all times and be mindful not to jam the machine with too much wood at one time. The tree trunk will likely be too thick for the shredder so it’s better to use it as firewood instead next time you want a cosy evening by the fire!

3. Add the needles to your compost heap

You can add a small amount of pine needles to your compost heap which will in time turn into nutrient packed compost for your garden needs. Be careful not to overload your heap with needles as sometimes these can take a lot of time to breakdown.

fallen over christmas tree ornament
Image by azerbaijan_stockers on Freepik

4. Create a dead hedge for wildlife habitats

If you have more than one tree or your neighbours’ too, then you can line them up to create a “dead hedge”. Despite the name, this is a very effective way of separating your garden and providing a much loved wildlife habitat. Winter can be a particularly tough month for small animals as they have to cope with harsher temperatures, weather conditions and limited food sources. Many will seek for shelter within our gardens and whether you have one tree or many, your old tree will make great shelter in a corner of the garden that isn’t too exposed. Be sure to secure your tree so that it won’t be at risk of moving in windy weather.

5. Create home decorations

Christmas trees decorate your homes all festive season long, why not allow them to continue their decorative effects all year? Create an innovative, rustic candle holder by chopping up the tree trunk, slightly hollowing out the middle to hold a pretty tea-light or you can make several holes along the trunk to hold more than one candle. Seal your wood with a wood protector to keep it looking shiny and in good condition.

If you’ve not been convinced by any of these ideas or you simply don’t have the time (it’s okay, we get it), the easiest way to dispose of your Christmas tree is to recycle it. It’s worth searching your local area for local businesses that are looking for old trees to make wood shippings out of as they’ll put your tree to good use and happily take it off your hands. There are also a number of community schemes set up around the UK which put old trees to new uses. To find out about schemes in your area, contact your local council or search for their Christmas tree collection dates online.