How to dispose of your real Christmas trees

Have you got a real Christmas tree and are unsure what to do with it now the festivities are over? Check out these tips.

Replant it (if it’s got roots)
If you had a potted Christmas tree with roots, this could be re-potted in either a larger pot (ready for next year) or planted in your garden.

You could even hang food for birds in the tree, giving it a use in the garden, even if the roots fail to take.

Reuse it
Rather than reducing your tree to mulch or compost, green-fingered gardeners could strip it to use as a frame for flowers or beans to grow up. The unwanted pine needles can also be added to compost or sprinkled on a muddy path to provide grip.

Or for residents interested in arts and craft, could equally strip the frame and use the branches and trunk for wooden crafts and makes.

Have it collected for a donation
Local charities, including Wirral St John’s Hospice, collect and recycle your Christmas tree and offer a door-to-door collection service to help raise vital funds. Collecting trees from CH41, CH42, CH43, CH44, CH45, CH46, CH47, CH48, CH49, CH60, CH61, CH62, CH63 and CH64, the charity covers a lot of the borough. The service will be operational, and collecting trees, from Friday, 12 January 2024.

The suggested donation, per tree, starts from approximately £9 for a 5 or 6 ft tree and £25 for a tree over 8 ft. A donation of £10 could pay for food for a patient for the day or £30 could pay for a two-hour hospice at home support visit.

You can book your Christmas tree collection slot by visiting the Wirral St John’s hospice website or calling 0151 343 0778. Registration closes Sunday 7 January 2024 at 11.59pm.

If you have a van and/or chipper and would like to volunteer to help with collecting the trees, please contact 0151 343 0778 (Mon to Fri 9am-5pm) or email

Dispose of it
You can either:

  • compost your tree
  • put it in your garden waste bin (if you have one)
  • turn it into mulch

To compost, cut the tree into sticks and stack neatly on your compost heap (ideally in a shaded part of the garden). Real trees are biodegradable and the soft wood rots away disappearing into the soil within a year or two if nature is left to take its course.

To put it in your garden waste bin, remove all decorations and pots or stands and cut the tree up into smaller sections and pop it into your brown garden waste bin before your next collection. You can find when your next collection will be by visiting the council’s website and searching your address. If you don’t subscribe to the garden waste collection service, you can sign up by visiting the council’s website.

To turn it into mulch, you’ll need to use a shredder and cut the branches from the trunk of the tree before putting them into the shredder one by one. You may find the trunk is too thick to put in the shredder.

For any other clearing up after Christmas and New Year celebrations, remember:

  • Paper Christmas cards: Cards without any plastic, glitter, foil, ribbons, batteries or electronics can be recycled in the grey bin. You could also cut up old Christmas cards to create gift tags for next year
  • Christmas lights or fairy lights: These are classed as small electrical items and should not be put in your wheelie bin. They can be recycled at the tip
  • Bubble wrap: Bubble wrap can’t be recycled in your grey recycling bin. Save it to use again or take it on your next trip to the tip
  • Batteries should never be put in a wheelie bin as they can cause fires if crushed or damaged. You can recycle batteries at your local HWRC or some supermarkets have collection points for them
  • Chocolate, sweet and biscuit tubs (metal and plastic) can’t be recycled in the grey recycling bin. Save them to keep bits and bobs in or take them to the HWRC on your next visit

Image: Joshua Choate

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