Christmas is Over, Now What Can You Do With the Tree?

OK, Christmas is over, and if you were like my mother, once we opened presents she “demanded” that we all pitch in and put a tarp over the tree (ornaments still attached) and haul it back up the attic for another year.

But, for those who purchased a real tree this year, you’re probably thinking.. “now what”?

Some people drag them to the curb at first chance, hoping the garbage collectors are feeling friendly that day, and others leave them in wooded property to decay.   Others may try to chop them into firewood. 

However, it turns out, there are some dos and don’ts to consider when it comes to getting rid of a tree to officially say goodbye Christmas season.  Here are your options to consider, and some things to avoid.

Photo Credit: Canva

No. 1 – Turn it into mulch

For many, this is the most logical thing to do, and many cities throughout the Austin metro area offer free tree disposal.    Wherever you take it, remember to remove all ornaments and light strings, which can jam recycling equipment and take whole systems offline.

You can also rent a chipper and make your own mulch, but note that you have to age the mulch a year before using it—so don’t expect instant gratification and results.

No. 2 Chop it up for firewood, with some precautions

You can use your tree for firewood, but only outside. Inside, the sap can create a fire hazard in the chimney or venting. That’s because Christmas trees release creosote, which can solidify and stick to the liner of your chimney; the flammable material can lead to dangerous chimney fires.

If you are burning the wood outside, be sure to follow your local laws for outside bonfires as well. We’re in Austin, and some areas are experiencing a drought.   Also, if you plan on taking your newly cut firewood to a campground – you should first check with the park ranger.  Most parks only allow local wood to be burned.   

Here are some Austin area resources and location on where and how you can dispose of your trees:

Texas Disposal Systems


Round Rock

Cedar Park



About the author

Owner of and REALTOR® with Urban to Suburban Realty

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