Your most favorite part of Christmas is selecting and decorating your Christmas tree; your second most favorite part of Christmas is getting rid of the Christmas tree and reclaiming general order in your house after the hubbub of the holiday season.
Now, of course, if your tree is made of plastic, getting rid of it is as easy as disassembling and placing it back in its box to be seen again next year. But if you’re a Christmas purist like we are, and know the only tree is a real tree, discarding that evergreen will require a little more effort.
You have a few general options, but the most important thing to do is:
Recycle your Christmas tree.
Kick it to the curb for pick-up.
Many northern Virginia communities have it set up so trash and recycling service providers will collect discarded trees during regular pickup for two weeks following Christmas. There are often requirements on size and what must be done to prepare a tree for collection, so it’s recommended that you contact a county or city official for guidance.
Take your tree to a drop off recycling center.
Most counties have free drop-off locations throughout the county. Usually, you may take up to two trees to a drop-off location at no charge.
Have your tree picked up by a Boy Scout.
Many nonprofit or volunteer organizations rally at the end of the Christmas season to pick up discarded trees. Some Boy Scout troops even offer pickup service for a small donation.
Cut your tree into yard waste.
Have a chainsaw handy? Cut the tree, and deposit it in your yard waste container.
Turn your tree into mulch.
A Christmas tree is entirely biodegradable (It is a tree, after all.), and its branches can be removed and chipped to then use as mulch in your garden. Contact JK Enterprise Landscape Supply to learn more about how to transform your once glowing and adorned tree into the pine mulch that helps fertilize your azaleas.
What are recycled Christmas trees used for?
Many more things than you might realize actually. Recycled Christmas trees can, as we’ve already discussed be turned into mulch for use in your garden, but also to line hiking trails, and for fish or bird feeders.
Next year, you might even consider getting a rooted (ball and burlap or containerized) tree, and you could recycle that Christmas tree in the best way possible: by planting it in your yard to admire and enjoy all year long. (It’s a good idea to pre-dig the hole in the late fall while the soil is still soft, then plant the tree into that hole immediately after Christmas.)
Oh and one last thing about Christmas trees:
Never burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove.