Recycle instead of throw away: Reuse Christmas trees after the holidays

Recycle instead of disposing
Reuse Christmas trees after the holidays

Don’t throw it away yet! The Christmas tree can still be used after the holidays.

© Sergey Novikov/

Where to put the Christmas tree after the holidays? Fir, spruce, etc. can be used as cooking ingredients, among other things.

A festively decorated Christmas tree is a must at Christmas – the Germans agree on that. Every year almost 30 million are born in the Federal Republic Bought Christmas trees and hung them with balls and figures. However, the felled conifers leave a large ecological footprint. Instead of simply disposing of fir, spruce, etc., there are numerous ways to use wood and needles in other areas, such as in the kitchen.

Aromatic cooking with pine needles

Pine needles add a spicy flavor to dishes with mushrooms or game. But you shouldn’t just throw them into the pan when cooking. Instead, let the needles dry for a few days and grind them finely in a mortar.

Since they contain essential oils and many important vital substances, they are also ideal for tea infusion. You can either put the needles and twigs in hot water or separate them beforehand and squeeze them a little so that the ingredients dissolve better in the water.

Frost protection in the garden

The trunk and branches are particularly useful in the garden. Using a shredder, they can be processed into mulch, which can serve as frost protection for soil and plants. If you don’t have the appropriate device, you can cut thin branches with secateurs; an ax helps with large trunks.

By the way: The pine needles also look good in the vegetable patch as they keep snails away.

Firewood for the fireplace

If you own a fireplace, you can use your Christmas tree as firewood. Important: Once the wood has been sawn into pieces suitable for the oven, it must be stored in a dry place for some time. Otherwise the humidity will cause a lot of smoke and a sooty stove.

A joy for the animals

If you no longer want to do anything with your Christmas tree, you can instead hand it in to animal parks, horse farms or the local forester. The fir branches are a tasty treat, especially for wild animals such as deer, and at the same time a welcome change from traditional food.

For regeneration

Pine needles can also be used in the bathroom. For example, in the form of a coniferous bath. The essential oils in the needles can relieve cold symptoms and circulatory problems and also nourish the skin. To do this, simply boil around 100 grams of needles with water for ten minutes and pour through a sieve into the bath water.

Pine needles can also be made into rubbing alcohol. The tincture helps with joint pain or sore muscles. Simply cut the needles into small pieces and put them in a glass with juniper berries and optional essential oils. Then pour in high-proof alcohol (ideally around 70 percent), close the jar and let it steep in a warm place for two to three weeks.


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