The Woodland Trust doesn’t have an ‘official position’ on Christmas trees because we don’t manage our estate for commercial interest. However, here is some general advice on how to source and dispose of your tree sustainably.
Buying a real tree
Perhaps the most environmentally-friendly option is to buy a tree with roots. This means you can plant it in the garden afterwards, store it in a pot and bring it back into the house next year.
If you want to buy a felled tree, choosing a local grower with FSC accreditation is best. The FSC certificate ensures that the trees have been grown sustainably and ethically. After Christmas, you can recycle your felled tree, which will be turned into compost. Many local authorities run Christmas tree recycling schemes. If not, you can take it to the garden waste section of your nearest disposal centre.
Some garden centres and tree nurseries now offer a Christmas tree rental scheme. This allows you to rent your Christmas tree in a pot and return it to the growers afterwards. The tree is then reused in future years.
Buying artificial trees
Artificial trees are less environmentally-friendly as most are made from non-recyclable plastic. The carbon emissions generated to produce artificial trees are also very high. If you do opt for an artificial tree try to use it for as long as possible to reduce the environmental impact.