In the US, around 25 to 30 million real Christmas trees are purchased every year – but after the Christmas season, many are simply discarded on the streets and eventually find their way to landfill.

The Christmas season ended more than a week ago, and now, millions of Christmas trees are piled up in the streets.

Although it's sad to see the formerly glittering trees decorating homes thrown into the streets, it doesn’t mean we can’t have a happy ending.

Discarded and worn out Christmas trees without decorations lie at the side of the road in a residential area in Wandsworth, London.
Discarded and worn out Christmas trees without decorations lie at the side of the road in a residential area in Wandsworth, London. (Rumeysa Gulesin)

Instead of sending your used Christmas tree to the landfill, there are several better ways to recycle them.

Here are some ways you can repurpose your Christmas trees.

After the Christmas season, many Christmas trees are simply discarded on the streets and eventually find their way to landfill.
After the Christmas season, many Christmas trees are simply discarded on the streets and eventually find their way to landfill. (Rumeysa Gulesin / )

Replant it

If you purchased a Christmas tree with roots attached, it is possible to replant it, the tree can prosper in a garden or in a pot. Simply put it outside and wait for next Christmas to bring it back in and decorate.

Christmas trees can be turned into mulch which can be used around the base of garden trees or shrubs.
Christmas trees can be turned into mulch which can be used around the base of garden trees or shrubs. (Getty Images)

Turn it into mulch 

Christmas trees can be turned into mulch which can be used around the base of garden trees or shrubs. 

The mulch can also be used for several different purposes including landscaping, and erosion control. It can also prevent the ground from freezing over in cold weather.

Christmas tree mulch is even used to soften the surface of recreational trails for runners and walkers.

You can even feed birds by attaching bird food to the branches of your old Christmas tree once you’ve found a place for it in your garden.
You can even feed birds by attaching bird food to the branches of your old Christmas tree once you’ve found a place for it in your garden. (Getty Images)

Create a wildlife shelter

Old Christmas trees can be turned into shelter for small animals who seek protection from the winter elements.

Place it in the corner of a garden, and it will protect the animals from the cold, wind, rain and snow. 

You can even feed birds by attaching bird food to the branches of your old Christmas tree once you’ve found a place for it in your garden.

Beach barriers

Since the discarded Christmas trees can be used to trap sand, you can donate your tree to a coastal nature reserve.

They help to reduce wind erosion on beaches and help stabilise sand dunes. 

About 2,000 New Jersey residents in the US dropped off their Christmas trees to help save the sand dunes and minimise the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2020.

Discarded Christmas trees are regarded as tasty treats by some animals, such as giraffes, zebras and even goats.
Discarded Christmas trees are regarded as tasty treats by some animals, such as giraffes, zebras and even goats. (AA)

A tasty treat for animals

You can donate your Christmas tree to the nearest zoo and make animals happy, especially goats!

Discarded Christmas trees are regarded as tasty treats by some animals, such as giraffes, zebras and even goats. 

This year, a herd of goats grazing on a London city farm are getting their teeth into hundreds of unwanted Christmas trees donated by residents in a fundraising drive.

Eight goats can't get enough of the discarded firs Kentish Town City Farm collects from homes in the area.

The pine needles aren't just a tasty treat but also a "natural de-wormer", Trustee Angela Woods explained, as the goats, including the herd's four-year-old leader Rockie, nibbled on a festive spruce. 

They eat everything except the trunk, leaving it looking "like it's been in a nuclear blast," Woods said.

Christmas trees must be free of all decorations, tinsel, ornaments, and sprays.

Recycle it

If you don't like any of the ideas above, the simplest way to dispose of your Christmas tree is to recycle it.

Many garden centres take old trees and turn them into wood chips to use in someone else's garden.