How to Recycle Your Real Christmas Tree This Holiday Season

Is there anything better than the sweet smell of cinnamon pine cones, the crackling sound of wood burning on the fire, and the sight of a delicately decorated tree? Having a real Christmas tree brings back memories of times past and the smells of grandmas at Christmas. But what do you do with this evergreen once the holidays are over? Eventually, those needles dry out and turn brown, fall off and become a mess. You might be surprised to learn that you can do plenty of things here in Arlington, VA, with your used Christmas tree. And we’re here to tell you what they are so you can plan ahead this holiday season.

Recycling the Christmas Tree in Northern Virginiafirewood in a basket

The easiest option for Christmas tree disposal is to recycle it. Natural, live Christmas trees are completely biodegradable. Here in northern Virginia, different cities and counties have different policies for recycling trees. For the most part, Christmas trees can be recycled by simply leaving them out on the curb. Usually, Christmas trees are collected during the first two weeks of January. Before you take your tree to the curb, make sure to remove all decorations and tree stands. If your tree is taller than 6 – 7 ft, you may need to cut it in half. Check out this helpful link for more information depending on where you live. 

Make Firewood Out of Your Christmas Tree

Turn the wood from your Christmas tree into firewood for your outdoor fire pit. Simply take the tree outside and chop it into manageable logs to be used to keep warm and cozy under the stars. Allow the firewood to completely dry out before using it, and stack the logs away from your house to avoid pest infestations since those pesky creatures love using wood for shelter.

Whatever you do, please note that you should never burn Christmas tree firewood inside the home. The wood from spruce, fir and pine trees contains a chemical called creosote. Creosote creates a build-up on your chimney walls that can get very hot and ignite without warning. This can cause smoke to burn out your fireplace with no forewarning filling the rest of your home with hazardous smoke. Better to keep this wood outside!

Create Beneficial Mulch Out of Your Used Christmas Tree

One of the best ways to reuse your Christmas tree is by turning it into useful mulch for your flower beds and gardens. Mulch is a beneficial addition to any landscape. It helps protect your soil’s roots from the drastically changing temperatures we have here in Northern Virginia, retains moisture, and helps block out weed growth. You can shake the dried needles over your garden beds or rent a woodchipper and cut it up into mulch.

Christmas Tree Crafts for the Northern Virginia Craftypine tree in a wood chipper

If you’re the crafty type, then a recycled Christmas tree is for you. Between the needles, the trunk, branches, and bark, there are plenty of things you can design. To make simple coasters, cut 1-inch slabs from the trunk of the tree. Liberally coat each with polyurethane and let them dry. Other suggestions include using evergreens for wreaths, garlands, and door hangers. The ideas are endless. With a little spray paint, oil paints, glue gun, and imagination, the designs are up to you.

Turn Your Christmas Tree Into a Wildlife Habitat or Bird Sanctuary

Why not give back to the place that gave your Christmas tree life in the first place? With all the decorations off and still in the tree stand, move your tree outside. Hang suet feeders, cages, and bird feeders from the branches, and voila, you have your very own bird resort. Or, take the tree standoff, turn it on its side and allow nature to take over. The branches help attract and protect birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and other wildlife that might otherwise have a hard time finding shelter in leafless trees and snowdrifts. Just be sure to keep it away from the side of your house, so pesky insects don’t make their way in.

For All Other Plant Health Care Needs in Arlington VA, Contact the Professionals at Nuleaf

When it comes to the trees and shrubs in your northern Virginia backyard, you can count on the professionals at Nuleaf. Our goal is to build the overall natural health of your landscape. Our unique plant health care program is customizable and includes the nutrients and bio-stimulants your trees and plants need, insect and pest management, disease management, and soil conditioner. Like our lawn care program, it uses bio-rich granular products. You can find out more about our plant health care program here.

We also offer a seven-step Nu-Hybrid lawn care program that blends traditional lawn care with organic-based products, organic help for mosquito control, and more. Learn more about all of our services by visiting our website, reaching out to us online, or giving us a call at 703-989-9405.



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