How to Take Down a Christmas Tree

Most of us know, physically, how to take down a Christmas tree – it’s similar to the way we got it in the house, right? True, it’s possible to lug a tree out of your house, leaving a trail of sap and needles in your wake (more needles, to be sure, as your tree has likely dried significantly since you first bought it) – but why not minimize the mess by trying out a new means of getting rid of your tree?

After carefully removing all of your ornaments and checking the highest, lowest and most hidden corners to make sure you don’t accidentally throw out any cherished memories, follow these tips to get your tree to the curb or backyard with the least muss and fuss possible.

Don’t neglect the lights. Hold on a second; we know a naked tree is a depressing sight, post-Christmas, and you’ll want to get it out ASAP, but take the time to put away lights and ornaments in a manner you’ll be happy to find next year. You’ll save yourself hours of meticulous untangling and foul language if you take the simple step of winding lights around a plastic spool or any cylindrical object instead of simply shoving them in a box or bag; delicate ornaments should be repackaged in their tissue paper or bubble wrap. We promise you’ll thank yourself next year.

Wrap the tree. Did your tree come with a tree bag? Great – time to make use of it once more by placing it over your tree prior to hauling it from your living room to its final destination. If you don’t have a bag, find an old sheet (really old, as trees are both dirty, pungent – though not necessarily in a bad way – and full of sap), and wrap your tree up like a mummy, from top to bottom. The fewer pine needles are exposed, the fewer can scratch up your floors or find their way into crevasses, where they’ll somehow only reappear in July.

As an alternative, you can also cut branches off your tree, bag them, then remove them from your home. While this is likely to scatter needles locally, they’ll be less likely to get tracked through the entirety of your tree’s path.

Invest in a rubber broom. We’re not sure why, but this tool works better than anything when it comes to removing pine needles (and other larger litter that finds its way on our floors). Do a thorough sweep after you’ve moved your tree AND any other evergreen flourishes from your home – THEN vacuum. Pine needles aren’t great for a vacuum or any other mechanical parts, so try to avoid getting them in this manner, by any means possible.

Go green with your tree. Sure, you could just put it out on the curb and wait for the trash truck to pick it up, but there are many other uses for an old Christmas tree that can keep the spirit alive through your flourishing garden and backyard. The smaller branches can be used as mulch in the garden, while you can also put the entire thing through a chipper in order to make a great-smelling, high-quality, finer mulch for either now or in the spring.