Recycling Your Christmas Tree

Christmas tree with a squirrel

A Happy New Year from all of us at Ecodek.

How many of you bought a real Christmas tree last month? If so, this week we are looking at how to recycle your old tree.

The British Christmas Tree Growers Association estimates that seven million real trees are sold in the UK each year but it’s disappointing to hear that almost 160,000 tonnes of trees get dumped after the festive period is over.   It costs millions in landfill taxes and leaves a hefty carbon footprint.

Here are a couple of ways to recycle or reuse your tree as a better alternative to landfill.

Recycle Your Tree

Most local authorities have an allocated day for Christmas Tree Collections in early January and advertise the dates this will take place. Why not check your local authority website for more information or contact your council and ask them to collect for a no fuss tree collection and recycling service?

The trees the council collect are recycled and are shredded into chipping which are then used locally in parks or woodlands areas.

I’ve noticed at our local allotment that these mulched Christmas Trees are mixed with bark which makes great use for when creating hand-made footpaths around your allotment plots.

Turn Your Christmas Tree Into Mulch

Christmas trees make fantastic mulch which can be used around the base of your garden trees or shrubs. Mulching has several benefits and can help treat compaction and prevent soil erosion that often happens after heavy rain. If you mulch the roots of your evergreen trees, conifers, tender perennials and tender shrubs, this can also prevent the ground from becoming frozen in cold spells.

Create Your Own Wildlife Sanctuary

If you have a potted Christmas tree and have looked after it over the festive season you could re-plant it in your garden. Dig a hole slightly wider than the root ball and remove the tree from its container. Plant the tree in the hole, making sure that you get the correct depth. The root ball and trunk should not be buried any deeper in the ground than they were in the pot. Lay a garden cane across the hole to check the depth if necessary.   Add a layer of mulch and water well.   By doing this your tree should thrive in your garden giving added shelter to the visiting wildlife.

The chopped wood from your tree will make a lovely haven for the wildlife in your garden. Why not create a shelter for hedgehogs, bugs and insects in a quiet corner of your garden.

Or why not build a multi-storey bug hotel that’s full of all sorts of natural materials providing hidey-holes for creatures.   This will be great shelter for hedgehogs, bumblebees, ladybirds and woodlice.

Use Needles To Create Great Fertiliser Or Compost

Pine needles don’t collect mould and decompose slowly making them a fantastic resource to use in your garden. Remove your branches from the tree and shake off any dead needles and you’ve got yourself a natural fertiliser.

Did you know that the needles or fir trees make excellent ericaceous compost? They are acidic and so balance out alkaline. The compost is perfect for growing blueberries, heathers and azaleas.

DIY Christmas Pot Pourri

Why not make your home smell like Christmas and make your own pot pourri out of Christmas tree clippings, loose needles mix with lemon and orange rind, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and essential oils.