U of I Extension Offers Ways To Upcycle & Recycle Christmas Trees

By Ali Pyle on December 28, 2020 at 1:43pm

That dry Christmas tree in the middle of your living room has several uses after the holiday season. The University of Illinois Extension Office has a few ideas for your used tree after Santa has come and gone. Extension Educator, Katie Parker, says there are a number of ways to recycle your tree if your area doesn’t have a pick up program: “If you have like a compost facility nearby that’s a really good option because they can mulch it or compost it. If you have chipper or something yourself, you can do that as well. Any way to reduce causing additional waste.”

Parker says that the pine needles and boughs can be used as ground covering to protect outdoor plants. Parker says the trunk can be chopped up and used for arts and crafts to garden edging. The tree can be placed outside in a stand and be used as a decorative bird feeder during the winter months if you fill it with feeders and food for birds or animals. 

Parker says however it’s not a good idea to use it for firewood in a fireplace: “A lot of times our Christmas trees are full of resin which makes it very flammable, so that is not a good idea to do that like for inside firewood. If you were going to burn it outside, that might be an option, but it can still cause a big fire so just be careful.” 

The City of Jacksonville will have their curbside tree pick-up on Monday, January 4th. The city brush drop off will also be open from 8AM-4:30PM on Monday for those unable to have their tree on the curb by 8AM.