How to recycle your real Christmas tree

Discarded Christmas trees against a plain wall.

Friday 1 December 2023

If you purchased a real Christmas tree that you're not saving for next year, there are several ways to dispose of it after the festive season.

Compost your tree

Real Christmas trees are biodegradable and free from wood preservatives. The soft wood rots away disappearing into the soil within a year or two if nature is left to take its course. Simply chop up the tree into sticks and stack it neatly in an out-of-the-way part of the garden. It will slowly break down and disappear, improving the soil and feeding nearby plants. It’s also a great habitat for insects and other wildlife.

Alternatively, you can shred your tree. This makes a great mulch that be used on plants or on paths.

Recycle your tree

Charity collections

There are several charities across the county that will collect your tree for recycling in return for a small donation.

Garden waste collections

Your local council may collect it for chipping and recycling with your garden waste collection. Remember to remove all the decorations first!

Recycling centres

You can drop off your Christmas tree for recycling at any of the recycling centres in Essex.

Find out more about having a sustainable Christmas:

Find everything you need to know this Christmas.