It’s true that real pine Christmas trees lend an air of credibility and rustic chic to any festive celebration, but they can be a big pain before, during and afterwards! When you’ve finally hunted one down that isn’t crumpled and bent, got it up after spending an hour hovering up all of the dropped needles and managed to get it down; you’re left with a problem. You’re now in possession of a (rather large) tree in your lounge without any need for it, so what is there to do? Luckily, you have a few options available to you to ease the passing of your faithful shrubbery.
Depending on your local constituent, your borough might operate free collections from the governing body. Many cities have this run by their local councils and will pick up Christmas trees from residential addresses normally up until the first week of January. Another point of collection might be local charities who offer to dispose of the trees for a small donation to their cause. Regardless of which you choose, the tree is likely going to end up at the closest recycling centre.
If you have a suitable way of transporting the tree, you might want to take the tree to the recycling centre yourself. If you decide to take it, make sure you strip it of all non-organic materials (tinsels, baubles, fairies) and ensure that your local centre caters for ‘garden’ or ‘green’ waste.
If you’re feeling like a lumberjack, you can chop the tree up enough for it to fit into your recycling bin. If your council collects recycling, you might want to borrow a neighbour’s saw and break the tree down into chunks and branches small enough to fit into the recycling bin. This is a great way to help the centres out who will have to undertake a similar job anyway.
Shops & Stores
A lot of large department and DIY stores are beginning to offer free recycling to customers who purchased a Christmas tree from them. Shops in the United Kingdom which currently offer this kind of facility include Homebase, B&Q and IKEA though many smaller outlets will also do this. Enquire at your local branch and you might find yourself with a lucky option.
If you happen to live near a timber yard or know a local arborist with a wood chipper, you can ask them to chip the tree for you and make for you a bag of mulch. Mulch is a great resource to have in your garden, it can act as a top layer sitting on the soil to prevent evaporation and erosion. What’s more, it encourages the earth worms to move in and they’re very helpful for irrigating and maintaining your soil.
If this year has proven the final nail in the coffin for your real Christmas tree, don’t forget that UK Christmas World stock a range of much easier artificial trees; some are even pre-lit too!