Christmas Tree Recycling 101

Treerecycle _insThe cookies have been eaten, the carols have been sung, and the holiday season is coming to an end. Whether you take your tree down today or wait for a couple weeks, here are some ideas for recycling your live Christmas trees.

Thousands of Illinoisans purchase fresh Christmas trees from the more than 291 Christmas tree farms in Illinois. The trees, with their fresh pine smell, are beautiful until Christmas is over, then the question begs, "What to do with the tree?"

The National Christmas Tree Association recommends several options for disposing of fresh Christmas trees:

  • Check with the city or county you live in to see if there are curb-side pick-up options and ask if there are any size requirements, etc.
  • Take your tree to a local recycling center. Many counties have drop-off locations and a quick Google search, or call to the closest town or city should help you find the location.
  • Placing the tree in a yard waste container is another option, but check with your town or city to see if this is permitted.
  • Check to see if there is a tree mulching program in your area. Your tree, along with hundreds of others, can be quickly turned into valuable mulch for gardens and landscaping projects.
  • Check with the local Boy Scout groups to see if they offer a pick-up service in exchange for a donation.

The National Christmas Tree Association also offers a few other creative ideas for recycling trees:

  • Use trees as soil erosion barriers.
  • Sink them in ponds and lakes to create fish habitat.
  • Place trees in a garden area for wildlife habitat. Orange slices and popcorn can be hung on the tree for an added treat for birds.

For more information, visit the National Christmas Tree Association website.

top bottom

Illinois Christmas Tree Association

Click here to visit their website and find a tree farm for next year.

Why Buy Fresh?

Click here to learn the benefits of buying fresh Christmas trees.