Tree dressing is celebrated in different cultures all over the world. It’s a tradition that brings people closer to trees and highlights the important role they play in our lives. It’s also a great way of saying thank you to trees for all the benefits they provide.

When your pupils complete the tree dressing challenge you can earn two points on the Green Tree Schools Award.

Your tree dressing celebration

Choose a tree, or group of trees, that are important to your school or community. Research tree dressing in other cultures for inspiration and make your own decorations to adorn your tree. Encourage your pupils to find out about the history of your tree and share stories about it. You could even hold a tree dressing event and invite parents and families to be part of the celebration.

Remember to take photos of your tree and the decorations made by your pupils - you’ll need these to claim your award points.

Please remember to take all the decorations down after your celebration so they don’t harm the tree or the wildlife that lives in it.

Make your own tree decorations

Your pupils will really enjoy making meaningful decorations to display on their tree. Encourage them to get creative and use their imaginations.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make paper leaves to hang from your tree. Children could colour them in and write messages or poems on them.
  • Cut lengths of colourful ribbons and tie them to branches so they ripple in the breeze.
  • Make your own bunting by cutting out paper triangles and attaching them to ribbon. Use the bunting to tell a story – pupils could draw pictures showing the wildlife that lives in the tree or how people enjoy it. When it’s finished, wrap the bunting around the trunk.
  • Use fallen leaves and seeds to make natural garlands and decorations.

Tree Dressing Day

You can do this activity at any time of year, but you might like to plan it around Tree Dressing Day which takes place in the first weekend of December.

How to claim your points

This challenge is worth two points on our award. To claim them, send us photographs of your dressed tree or trees and tell us about your celebration.

Email with the subject line 'Tree dressing challenge'.

We’ll add your points to your account after we’ve received your evidence (usually within two weeks).

How we use quotes and photos

We like to use comments and photos from schools to inspire other teachers and young people about outdoor learning. With your permission, they could appear on our award materials, website, press releases and social media.

You can find out more about how we use and look after your personal information in our privacy policy.


If you're happy for us to share your quotes and photos as outlined above, please include the following permission statements in your email:

  • We confirm we have permission from the photographer to submit these photos and use them for the purposes stated.
  • We confirm we have permission from pupils' parents/guardians to share their photos, comments and names and use them for the purposes stated.

If you'd rather we didn't share them, please include the following statement in your email:

  • We would prefer that our photos and comments are not used for the purposes stated.

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