Ideas for recycling your Christmas Tree into your Landscape

Christmas tree in garbage can

As the holiday season comes to an end and you gaze upon your once beautiful Christmas tree, you may wonder ‘what’s next for my tree’? Well, that Christmas tree may not be done working for you yet! Before you toss it to the curb, here are a few ideas to recycle your biodegradable Christmas tree into your landscape.
Christmas tree biodegrading

  1. Mulch: And, no, you don’t need a fancy chipper/shredder to do this if you don’t have one. Simply cutting the thinner Christmas tree branches into little pieces and adding them to mulched gardens and paths can create your own mulch.
  2. Shelter: Placed in the garden or backyard, the Christmas tree will provide winter shelter for small birds and backyard wildlife.
  3. Insulation: Branches from the tree can be used to insulate perennial gardens through the winter.
  4. Bird Feeder: Re-decorate the tree with special treats for the birds: Orange slices will attract birds, as will peanut butter spread on tree seed cones; or hang suet balls stuffed with sunflower seeds. If you set your tree outside for the birds, remember to carefully remove all tinsel.
    Fruit christmas tree decor
  5. Marine Habitat: Sunk into fish ponds, Christmas trees make excellent refuge and feeding areas for fish and other marine creatures.
  6. Fire Wood: You can chop up your Christmas tree and store it for fire wood.

If you decide that you don’t want the extra work, you can rest easy since most municipalities won’t be throwing your tree into the garbage, but actually recycling it into mulch for their own city parks.
Many municipalities have special designated collection days where they will pick-up your tree. If you decide to go this route, ensure that the tree is not in a plastic bag, remove all holiday decorations, tinsel, plastic, tree stand and make sure it’s not frozen to the ground or buried in a snow bank.

Local Collection Days

  • The Town of Markham is collecting Christmas trees Jan. 10th -20th
  • Richmond Hill has its first collection on Monday, Jan. 5th, and the second/last collection date will be Monday, Jan. 19th.
  • Aurora’s Christmas tree pick-up will take place between January 8th to January 11th on your scheduled waste pick-up day
  • In Newmarket, the Christmas tree pick up will take place on January 12, 13, 14 and 15th on your scheduled waste pick-up day
  • Ajax and Pickering residents’ Christmas tree collection will occur on regular collection days between Jan. 5 -15th.
  • Brock, Scugog, Uxbridge and Clarington tree collection will take place Monday, Jan. 4 and Monday, Jan. 11 only.