How to get rid of your old Christmas tree

  • 26/12/2016
christmas tree old
Your old Christmas tree can be good for your garden (Getty)

By Ella Prendergast

After Christmas it's a common sight to see pine trees wilted and abandoned on the footpath.

It's "a waste of a good tree", says Tony Murrell from Radio Live's Home and Garden Show.

Here are his tips for how to use each part of your old Christmas tree in the new year.

Pine needles

When a pine tree dies, the needles lose acidity and can be used as mulch in the garden. Spread them on top of the soil to act as a protective layer for the plants. Mr Murrell says they're an effective base for vegetables in particular.


Christmas tree branches aren't only a good host for tinsel and decorations. Mr Murrell says they're "perfect" stakes for beans and sweet peas, after trimming off any excess pine needles.


With a little DIY the main trunk can be used as an edging piece around a raised garden, or to line a garden path, keeping it clear from plants and soil.

Christmas trees are a symbol of health in many parts of the world, but this is no consolation to your backyard if they're disposed of incorrectly.

Simply chucking your tree into your back yard is not only an eyesore, it can actually kill your garden, Mr Murrell says.

"The acidity of the tree can affect the health of the surrounding soil, killing plants."

New Zealand goes as far as considering pine trees a pest and threat to local plant life, AUT head of science Professor Len Gilman says.

If you must leave it somewhere, Mr Murrell's advice is to put something down on the ground first.

"My philosophy is you should never ever get rid of a Christmas tree, you can use all parts of it in your garden. And never ever leave it on the side of the road for someone else to take care of."