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Help your Christmas tree live on

A big mulch pile
Turn your holiday tree into mulch.
January 5, 2015


If you make sure your Christmas tree is recycled into mulch or compost to improve soil and protect plants, you’ll know it didn’t go to waste.

Most suburbs contract with their waste haulers to pick up holiday trees and take them to huge commercial composting facilities. You’ll need to check with your own municipality for its holiday tree pickup rules and dates.

Follow your village’s directions to make sure the tree doesn’t go to a landfill instead of a composting facility. Remove plastic bags and all decorations, including tinsel. Don’t put out garlands, wreaths, or anything else that contains wire, which could jam and damage the shredding machinery (discard those items in the trash). Put the tree out in the specified location.

At The Morton Arboretum, the holiday trees, evergreen branches and other seasonal decorations are shredded for wood chips that are spread to protect the roots of trees and shrubs or to provide good footing along the Arboretum’s 16 miles of trails.

When your Christmas tree is turned into mulch and compost to help trees and other plants, the center of your family’s celebration will become part of the natural cycle of life.