Here’s how to reuse and recycle your Christmas tree after the holidays

The timeless Christmas carol “O Christmas tree” is an ode to the cherished tannenbaum whose boughs “stay bravely green in wintertime.” But Christmas trees don’t last forever unlike the joyful memories they help create. As much as we may love them, the time comes sooner or later to say goodbye.

Whether your tree is real or artificial, there are a number of alternatives to leaving it on the curb. Here are some ideas and recommendations from experts on what you can do with your tree after the holidays.

Real trees

Most cities and counties recycle real Christmas trees, according to Doug Hundley, a spokesperson for the National Christmas Tree Association. Usually, they are turned into wood chips to create pathways in parks, he says, or are returned to owners for landscaping.

“It depends on what you’re going to do with it,” Hundley tells NBC News Better, “and if you talk to your city or county government about what they have set up to take left over real Christmas trees, you’ll just follow their instructions.”

Before you put your tree on the curb, be sure to remove all the lights and ornaments, which can hinder the recycling process, Hundley says.

For more tips on how to reuse or recycle a Christmas tree, visit NBC News.

Credit: NBC News & Julie Compton –

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