Holiday Tree Disposal 101

The holidays are a joyous time to spend with friends and family, but once the new year arrives and the wrapping paper is sent to the curb, it can be a relief to get your house back in order and start the year fresh and clean.

So when it’s time to remove your tree, have a plan to make it as simple and mess-free as possible — and maybe even do something a bit creative with it!

Check out these handy tips to get that tree out the door:

Un-trim the tree. Take down your garland, lights, and ornaments and remove the tree skirt and any straggling gifts still under the tree. Inspect decorations for any damage and throw out any beyond repair.

That’s a wrap. Buy a large, plastic tree bag or better yet, find an old sheet or blanket and wrap the tree. That way you’ll make less of a mess with sap and needles when hauling it out the door.

Clear the space. Once your tree is out the door, sweep — don’t vacuum — the remaining needles. (Tree needles and vacuums don’t get along!) Then check your floor for water damage. If you notice any, use a steamer to make sure the carpet doesn’t mold. When that’s done, you can go ahead and move your furniture back to the way it was, pre-tree.

Arrange for transfer. Many communities offer curbside pickup for trees, just check with your local waste management department. And know the local rules — some curbside pickup services require you to break your tree down to smaller chunks. You can also contact your local recycling center for a list of free drop-off sites.

Get creative. Just because the holidays are over, doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with your tree. Instead of tossing it to the curb, try sinking pieces of it in a backyard pond as a habitat for the fish. If you’re crafty, cut pieces to use as ornaments for next year’s tree, or cut the trunk into discs to use as coasters. If you want to get the most out of your tree, chip it into mulch and use it on your garden in the springtime.

Taking down your tree can take the same amount of time and care as picking it out and trimming it. But with the right effort, you and your home will be all set for the coming year!



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