How to Remove a Christmas Tree in NYC (Removal & Recycling) – Christmas Tree Brooklyn

How to Remove a Christmas Tree in NYC (Removal & Recycling)

It may seem way too early to think about how you’re going to dispose of your Christmas tree when you haven’t even bought it yet, but all good things have to come to an end. Putting up and decorating your Christmas tree is the fun part, but what goes up must come down, so after the holidays are over you’re going to have to do the dirty work of tree disposal. To avoid adding one more item to your local landfill, you should make preparations to recycle the tree after taking it down. Here are some tips for making the process smoother and faster.

Plan ahead

There are things you can do ahead of time to make the cleanup easier. Pick up a tree disposal bag when you get your tree and put the stand on it before the tree goes in. Conceal the bag with a tree skirt. When you’re ready to take down the tree, just slip it into the bag, loose needles and all.

You’ll have fewer needles falling from the tree if you keep plenty of water in the stand so the tree remains fresh as long as possible. Adding a good tree food (like the one from Christmas Tree Brooklyn) will help to keep your tree refreshed. A tree that never gets dried out will look good longer.

Remove all decorations

If you’re going to recycle your tree, all lights, ornaments and tinsel must be removed. Then remove the tree from the stand. To avoid shedding needles all over the path to the exit, use the tree disposal bag that you can buy from most home stores.

Know your local recycling options

Most metro areas have dates for collecting trees during the two weeks following Christmas. You may have already received a notice giving you all the pertinent information for getting your tree picked up but you can also check the website of your city government or give them a call. While the sight of once-festive trees sitting forlornly at the curb waiting for pickup may make you sad that the holidays are over, be happy that they will be finding a new life after recycling!

Alas, artificial trees cannot be recycled. If you don’t want to store yours until next year, you have to add it to the already huge piles of garbage in your dumpster. Flocked trees are also non-recyclable, so think twice before choosing one.

If you do not live in an area where curbside pickup is an option, some non-profits will take your tree for a nominal donation. Some retailers like Home Depot are collecting trees for recycling free of charge. Check the stores in your area. There are also drop-off locations that will recycle trees. Just do a Google search for one in your area.

If you have a container for yard waste (and a saw) you can cut the tree into pieces that will fit loosely into the bin. Natural garlands and wreaths can go in the bin, too.

Do NOT try cutting up your tree and using it as firewood! Evergreens of the type used as Christmas trees contain large amounts of flammable turpentine oil which can cause a dangerous flare-up.


Once you’ve disposed of the tree, the real work begins because now you have to clean up the mess that’s left. First, get all of the decorations out of the way. Try to do this neatly, since you’ll be using these items again next year! The big discount chains carry special plastic bins just for the purpose of storing Christmas decorations.

Wrap breakable ornaments in bubble wrap before placing in boxes. Separate and detangle strings of lights and place each in its own bag or box. This will save you time next Christmas! The stand is probably the heaviest piece so place it on the bottom of the bin with the most fragile items on top. If you have holiday-themed towels or tablecloths, these can be folded and placed on top of the bin to provide extra protection for breakable items. Be sure you have everything accounted for before closing the storage bin and putting it away.

Sweep up needles instead of vacuuming as they can clog the intake. Once the needles have been swept up, you can vacuum up the rest of the mess. If you find stains on the carpet, use a cleaner that can be vacuumed up or get the year off to a good start by having the whole rug cleaned professionally! You can also rent a carpet cleaning vacuum from a grocery or home store.

Let CTB do it!

Of course, if you have your tree delivered by Christmas Tree Brooklyn, you can avoid most of this drudgery by having their helpful elves do the cleanup for you! Just choose the cleanup option (for an extra charge) when you order your tree and let CTB take care of the tree removal, disposal and cleaning up the mess while you relax and enjoy the rest of the holidays.

Christmas Tree Brooklyn can make this holiday season your easiest ever by delivering a fresh, beautiful Fraser Fir tree to your home or business and set it up so you can enjoy it all through New Year’s Eve. If you need lights or wreaths, they can deliver those, too. Then their friendly elves will come back to take down your tree, clean up the mess and take it away from disposal. Doesn’t that sound better than doing it all yourself?

For a step-by-step guide to un-decorating and disposing of your tree, check out this YouTube video starring CTB’s boss elves Dan and Morgan. These two have been in the Christmas tree biz since 2012, so they know their stuff!