Holiday Tree Disposal

The holidays have come and gone and now you’re not quite sure what to do with your tree or how to get it out of the house without a massive trail of needles. Don’t worry, we are here to help you out! Read on for tips on how to get your tree out of your home mess-free, and how to dispose of it safely.

How to Remove the Tree with Little Mess

  • First, buy a plastic drop cloth from your local hardware store or grab a large bed sheet.
  • Spread out the plastic drop cloth or bed sheet on the floor and put the tree in the middle.
  • Grab the edges of the plastic drop cloth or sheet and wrap the tree up as if you are giving the tree a hug. (Just be careful – those pine needles can be quite prickly!)
  • Tie the plastic drop cloth or sheet to the tree at the top.
  • Now, you can successfully take your tree outside and not have a mess! The plastic or bed sheet will catch all the needles that fall off the tree.
  • Once your tree is outside you will need to remove the plastic or sheet so it can be recycled.

Congrats! You have your tree out of the house! What do you do with your tree now? There are many options for disposing of your tree. Living trees are biodegradable, which means they can easily be recycled.

Curbside pick-up for recycling: Most areas will collect your tree during the two weeks after Christmas. Be sure to check with your waste management company before leaving your tree at the curb, as there are often requirements for size.

Take your tree to a drop-off recycling center: There are a few places you can drop your tree off to be recycled for free between December 26 – January 13:

  • Forest Park, Lower Muny Opera parking lot
  • O’Fallon Park, West Florissant and Holly, picnic grounds #4
  • Carondelet Park, Grand and Holly Hills, area between gate & recycling containers

Note: Remove ornaments, tinsel, lights, and tree stand. Remove any plastic bags or covering on the tree. Wreaths and pine roping are not accepted at these sites.

Yard Waste: Cut your tree up into smaller pieces and place loosely in your yard waste container to be picked up with your regularly scheduled yard waste.

Nonprofit Pickup: You can call to schedule an appointment to have a nonprofit organization in your area pick up your tree. (Some may ask for a small donation, often $5).

Most importantly, do not burn your tree to dispose of it! Pines, firs, and other evergreens have a high content of flamable turpentine oils. They can easily escalate to a fire too large for you to handle. Burning the tree may also contribute to creosote buildup and risk a chimney fire.

We hope you had a great holiday and stay safe when disposing of your tree! And don’t forget – if your tree leaves behind a bigger mess than you can handle, give us a call!


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