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Can you compost a real Christmas tree?

If you’re using a real Christmas tree this year you will be pleased to know that those pesky needles that would otherwise go on the floor to be hoovered up, can in fact be put to great use.

You can add a real Christmas tree to your compost heap so get saving any needles that you can and be sure to compost your Christmas tree once the festive season has passed.

The pine needles will take a long time to decompose so don’t expect instant results but if you compost your Christmas tree each year it’s a sure-fire way of ensuring high quality compost for the long term. There’s another reason to opt for a real tree instead of a false one!

Pine needles are slightly rubbery in feel and notoriously tough in order to last harsh winter conditions. For this reason they can take a long time to break down and the trunk of tree can take even longer. To help move the process along quicker it is a good idea to cut up the tree or to shred it if possible before composting.

It can be used as a positive that Christmas trees take a long time to rot. The needles can be used to cover muddy areas of lawn; the branches and trunk can be used as a natural wildlife habitat that encourages flower growth.
Putting fallen and dried out needles into your compost heap will not influence the pH level of the soil. It is a common misconception that pine needles are not good for composting. Pine needles are acidic whilst they are on the tree but by the time they are ready to be composted they are no longer acidic to any considerable level.

If you want a real tree but want to dispose of it after use, in most areas your local council will happily take away your real Christmas trees after you have finished with it. Real Christmas trees are classed as green waste. Many local authorities have green schemes or local environmental projects and will be glad to take real Christmas trees off your hands. Each local council will be different so you should check this first.

The team at The Compost Shop would like to wish season’s greetings to one and all. We hope that you have a great festive season and that the presents you want lie in wait under the tree (real or fake) on Christmas morning!

Merry Christmas!