Your 100% Recyclable and 100% Biodegradable Real Christmas Tree – The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Real Christmas Tree Board shares expert tips for how to recycle your real Christmas tree post-holiday festivities


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HOWELL, Mich., December XX, 2022 – Christmas may be over, but your real Christmas tree is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only do real Christmas trees convert CO2 to oxygen while growing on farms, but real Christmas trees are 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable. That means post-holidays your real Christmas tree can be used as mulch in your garden, to provide natural habitats for wildlife, deliver amazing nutrients to soil, and more.

Let’s dive in deeper.

Ways Recycled Trees Protect the Environment

Tree Recycling Program

Most municipalities have a tree recycling program in place, so when you pick up your tree, ask your farmer or retailer if they have any details. Your city or county website should also have this information under their Waste Management or Recycling department. Or simply call City Hall to get the scoop.

Shoreline Stabilization & Beachfront Erosion Prevention

Recycled Christmas trees are also used to stabilize and prevent erosion on shorelines across North America. In New Jersey, in an attempt to stabilize the shoreline and build back the marsh, a team constructed tree breakwaters and Christmas tree vanes to “mimic naturally occurring debris structures in tidal systems and enhance habitat opportunity and shelter for aquatic life.”1 In New Orleans, Christmas trees are dropped by helicopter into the bayou to encourage marsh grass development.2

Hiking Trails

The chippings can also be used to create and maintain safe and eco-friendly hiking paths.

Fish Habitats

When laid on its side in a body of water, a Christmas tree becomes a natural habitat for fish, giving them a sanctuary and an excellent feeding ground. Mixed with holiday cheer, you’ll feel good knowing that your real Christmas tree experience contributes to maintaining and enhancing your natural environment.

Ways You Can Reuse Your Tree

Feed Your Garden

Pine needles work wonders on soil. Use any loose needles to fertilize your garden. They decompose slowly, so they will keep your soil healthy all through winter. If you have a super green thumb and have access to a chipper, you can also cut down the entire tree to make mulch.

Christmas tree branches also make great insulators for perennial beds, protecting them from the harsh cold and winter sun.

Create a Backyard Bird Feeder

Set your tree up in your yard, add some bird feeders to the branches, and watch as the birds start to visit your tree every day.

You can also find a local animal sanctuary or preservation program in your area to see if they are taking donations this year.

Get Crafty

If you are the crafty type, then you are in for a treat. Use parts of the tree to make fun crafts with your kids and family. Get the old bow saw out and cut ½-inch (or bigger) pieces off the trunk to make a cute coaster set. You’ll want to put a finish on the coasters to prevent scratches or any resin from getting on your furniture. Get creative. Use the branches for a home décor project. See if the kids can make cute ornaments, like reindeer or stickmen. Make air fresheners with pine needles. Place the pine needles in small drawstring canvas bags or sachets and place them around the house. It will smell like Christmas year-round!

For more information on the joy of a real Christmas tree, including more on the positive (and significant) influence real trees have on the environment, visit


Know Your Sources

The Real Christmas Tree Board (RCTB) is the media’s expert resource for insights about farm-grown Christmas tree. Chartered in 2015 as the Christmas Tree Promotion Board and renamed in 2022, it is a national research and promotion program whose mission is to share the benefits of fresh Christmas trees with consumers through promotion and public relations, while engaging in research to better serve our customers and growers. The USDA provides oversight of the RCTB to ensure transparency, accuracy, and fairness in its communications. The RCTB provides the media and public with accurate information, added insights, and the latest news and inspiration for the season. It represents real Christmas trees sold in the United States and is supported through annual assessments paid by any business growing or importing 500 or more real Christmas trees. This press release was developed and distributed by the RCTB. Search “Real Christmas Tree Board” online and visit

National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) founded in 1955, is the national trade association and advocacy organization for the farm-grown Christmas tree industry leading its public policy/governmental affairs and serving as the “voice of the industry.” NCTA represents hundreds of active member farms, 38 state and regional associations, and thousands of affiliated businesses that grow and sell Christmas trees or provide related services. Each year, since 1966, an NCTA member has presented the official White House Christmas tree to the First Lady which is displayed in the Blue Room. NCTA is also a trusted media resource on farm-grown Christmas trees. 

American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) does not represent real Christmas trees or growers. It is a 501(c)(3) corporation established in 2009 and has no known members representing the real Christmas tree industry. Thomas Harman3 is CEO of ACTA and is also the founder and CEO of Balsam Hill, a seller of artificial Christmas trees.4 The majority of artificial Christmas trees are manufactured overseas.5

1 Princeton Hydro. Recycled Christmas Trees Used to Restore Disappearing NJ Shoreline. May 14, 2019.
2 US Fish & Wildlife Service. Bayou Sauvage: Annual Christmas Tree Drop. October 16, 2019.