Properly Disposing of Christmas Trees

by April Reinhardt
(last updated December 30, 2013)

When do you take down your Christmas tree? If you're like me, it takes hours to remove the tree and all of the Christmas trimmings, and then clean up. So, I typically take down our tree on New Years Day because it is a paid holiday for me. Taking down the tree means that I have to remove all of the ornaments, hooks, lights, and garland; put them away in their respective boxes; discard and replace non-working lights; take apart the artificial tree and put the branches away after categorizing them by size; clean the entire room where the tree and decorations stood; and then replace the furniture to where it was before I moved it to make room for the tree.

The job becomes more complicated, though, if we've used a live Christmas tree for the holidays. I can't simply place the used tree at the curb for garbage pickup on trash day. There are rules about throwing out used trees. Most cities, towns, municipalities, villages, and townships in the United States have their own rules about disposing of Christmas trees.

Follow these guidelines about how to properly dispose of your Christmas tree after the holidays:

  • Decorations. Remove all of the ornaments, lights, garland, and tinsel. In short, remove everything that you put onto the tree after you bought it or cut it down.
  • Water. Carefully remove the water from the tree stand, and then take the tree outside and remove the tree stand from the trunk.
  • Check. Check with your trash service to determine their rules for picking up trees. If your trash service doesn't pick up trees, contact your local city or government about tree collection.
  • Remember. Always mark your calendar to remind yourself of the date to set your tree out for collection, and make sure that it is bound if they require it.

You may also choose to recycle your tree, since they are biodegradable. You can mulch it and add it to your compost heap, chop it up and use it as firewood, or toss it into your pond for use as a fish habitat. If the tree is still alive, you can even replant it and use it again in the coming years.

No matter the entity that takes your tree away, make sure that you are aware of any charges they may levy for disposing of your tree.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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