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Top 5 things to do with your real tree after Christmas

The festive season is in full swing but if you're already itching to get the decs down, here’s some things you can do with your tree when the party is over.

Obviously, you can only try these if you're getting rid of a real tree...

Dispose of it

You can compost your tree, put it in your garden waste bin if you have one or 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, cut the tree up into smaller sections and pop it into your 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.

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.

Have it collected for a donation

Local charities, including Wirral St John's Hospice, can collect and recycle your Christmas tree and offer a door-to-door collection service.

The hospice collect from CH41, CH42, CH43, CH44, CH45, CH46, CH47, CH48, CH49, CH60, CH61, CH62, CH63 and CH64. The service will start from Friday 14 January 2022.

In return, a suggested donation per tree of £7 under 5ft, £8 under 6ft, £10 under 7ft and £15 over 7ft is requested.

A donation of £7 could pay for the running costs of the hospice for one minute, £10 could pay for food for a patient for the day or £20 could pay for a bereavement session to support family, friends & carers after the death of a loved one.

You can book your Christmas tree collection slot by visiting the Wirral St John's hospice website or calling 0151 343 0778.

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

Reuse it

Rather than reducing your tree to mulch or compost, you can strip it bare to create a unique frame for flowers or beans to grow up.

The unwanted pine needles can then be added to compost or sprinkled on a muddy path to provide grip.

Roots? Replant it

Many of the trees you buy over Christmas are incredibly resilient, although unfortunately not those that have had their roots chopped off. If you had a potted Christmas tree with roots, this could be re-potted in either a larger pot or planted in your garden.

You could decorate the tree with food for birds (see below), giving it a use in the garden even if the roots fail to take.

Get creative with it

…and move it outside and create a bird feeder.

This gives you more use out of your tree, helps local wildlife and means you can redecorate the tree all over again with wildlife friendly decorations.

Either plant or secure the tree in a heavy pot that won’t blow over and decorate the branches. Some ideas for decorations include:

  • Orange bowls

Halve an orange, scoop out the flesh and make small holes to attach string so they can hang, then fill with bird seed.

  • Pine cone snacks

Attach string to a pine cone and make a loop to hang it on the tree. Dip the cone in peanut butter then cover it in bird seed.

  • Popcorn garlands

Thread popcorn onto string using a needle (adult supervision required for young children).

  • Bird friendly biscuits

Mix suet with plenty of bird seed, squish it into cookie cutters and push the shapes out onto greaseproof paper. Partly unwind a paperclip and embed it in each shape to create a hook for hanging. Pop your shapes in the freezer to set.