Recycling Christmas Trees and Poinsettias

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Now that Christmas is over, you may be thinking about what to do with your real Christmas tree and poinsettias.  Officials with ISU Extension say there are several ways to dispose of your Christmas tree.

You can place the tree in your yard or garden for use by birds and other wildlife.  The branches provide shelter from strong winds and cold.  You can also prune off the tree’s branches and place the boughs over perennials as winter mulch.  Chip the tree and use the chipped materials as mulch around trees, shrubs or in perennial flower beds.  If you can’t use the tree yourself, contact your solid waste agency or sanitation service.  Most communities have some type of Christmas tree disposal program.

If given good care to your poinsettias, they should remain active for 2-3 months.  Toss the poinsettias when you grow tired of them or they become unattractive.  If you enjoy a challenge, it is possible to get the poinsettia to bloom again next year.  Cut the stems back to within 4-6 inches of the soil in March.  They may be repotted at this time.  Place the poinsettia in a sunny window.  Continue to water when the soil surface becomes dry to the touch.  In late May, move the poinsettia outdoors.  Bring back indoors in mid-September.

If you have additional questions you would like to have answered, contact the ISU Hortline at or 515-294-3108.