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How to Recycle Your Tree After the Holidays

Updated: Mar 10


In many ways, live Christmas trees are more environmentally friendly than artificial trees. They can be recycled, they’re grown sustainably, and they usually come from a tree farm pretty close to where you live, so they don’t have many carbon miles.

But how do you actually go about recycling your tree after the holidays? Well, there are a few options for Allentown residents.


Allentown Civic Tree Recycling

The first and probably easiest recycling option is to take advantage of Allentown’s Christmas Tree Recycling program. The city picks up trees and other yard waste over a few weeks in January.


Your live tree, fully naked with no leftover ornaments, garland, tree stand, and other yard waste, should be put out at the curb on your recycling night. Yard waste must be in paper lawn bags or bundled up; no plastic allowed. Artificial trees are not accepted, and collection service is weather permitting.

You can also drop your naked tree off at the Yard Waste Site at 1401 Oxford Drive. There is usually a designated day that the site accepts Christmas trees, from 10 AM to 12 PM. Trees will be ground up into mulch by the waste management department. Afterward, the mulch is available to residents when the site is open.


You can call the Recycling Bureau at 610-437-8729 for more information about what the dates will be for this year.


Here are a few other ways you can recycle your Christmas tree on your own:


Make Shelter for Critters

Do you live in the country? You could use your tree as the base for a brush pile. Brush piles in your yard provide important winter shelter and food for small wildlife. Or, if you have a large pond or other body of water on your property, you could toss your tree. Under the water, the tree also provides shelter and a feeding area for aquatic wildlife. Christmas trees can also be used to help stabilize fragile areas to prevent erosion in watercourses. Contact your local extension office if you’d like to learn more about using Christmas trees for wetland conservation.


Mulch or Compost Your Tree

Chopping your tree up small, and chipping it if you have a chipper, gives you mulch to use around your yard, or it can be added as crucial brown matter for your compost pile.


Make Gifts for Your Feathered Friends

Give your Christmas tree a second life outdoors and decorate it with different bird foods, like berries, apple or orange slices, and suet ornaments. String it with plain popcorn, and stand it in the backyard for all the critters to enjoy. Just make sure to remove all your indoor decorations first.


Make Some Christmas Tree Crafts

You can make some really cool crafts with your Christmas tree if you’re into woodworking. You can cut the trunk up into disks and make coasters, personalized tree ornaments, or small signs. You can also use those disks as an attractive natural edging for a flower bed in the spring. You could strip the longer branches of their needles and use them to help plants in the house or garden that need a little support or need something to grow on. There are so many ways to get creative with your decor this Christmas. Create fun and fabulous centerpieces using what you have at home or what you find outside. If you need help planning your DIY holiday centerpieces in Allentown, come visit us. Our staff would love to assist you!