Christmas Tree Composting

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 09:00 pm

For many people, it’s simply part of Christmas, and there are thousands of them in living rooms all over Europe: the Christmas tree. In most cases it is a real tree and not a plastic replica. As beautiful as the tree is during the Christmas season, the question of how to dispose of it arises shortly after Christmas. At the latest in the week after the Three Kings, it is finally over with the Christmas spirit and the previously magnificently decorated tree must go. But where? Compost? Residual waste? Here are a few tips and suggestions.

Can the Christmas tree go to the compost?

First of all, the tree must be freed from its Christmas decorations. This should be done very thoroughly, because materials such as plastic, metal, glass or other substances do not belong in the recycling and must be disposed of separately. Tinsel, which used to be so popular, may even contain lead. Strictly speaking, it would then have to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Fortunately, the trend to decorate the Christmas tree with tinsel is now somewhat out of fashion. Mostly one sets nowadays on discreet decoration.

Christmas Tree Composting

In most communities, the disused Christmas trees are collected by the waste collection service together with the residual waste. It is enough to put the decorated tree on the street together with the household waste and it will be disposed of professionally. In some counties it is also common to set up special Christmas tree collection points where you can drop off your tree.

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Optimally, the trees are chipped by the city’s waste disposal department and composted in a larger facility. In some places, the wood is also used to generate energy.

Off to the compost heap?

Of course, you can also compost your Christmas tree privately and turn it into valuable soil. To do this, however, you should chop or shred it as much as possible and add a balanced amount to the compost. It is not such a good idea to simply throw half the tree onto the compost, because the woody branches and the trunk would simply take too long to decompose. By the way, you can also dry the thick trunk and use it, for example, at the next campfire.

For those who often want to compost tree prunings or other larger parts, the purchase of an electric shredder is recommended. Not only at Christmas time a useful tool:


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts. Jones James

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