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Reusing your Christmas decorations

How to compost

Which bin to choose

Composting safely

Your compost ingredients

Emptying your bin

To Turn or not to Turn?

How long to compost?

Worms and Wormeries

Topical Composting

Kitchen waste

Prickly prunings

Weeds and weeds

Too much grass

Leaves for Leafmould

Seasonal Tips

Troubleshooting

Advice sheets
Unwelcome Guests

Compost - don't bin - your christmas Tree

Our general rubbish bins often seem to benefit from Christmas more than we do. There are so many single use items that cannot be recycled: shiny ribbons and sticky tape are made from plastic; foil covered cards and wrapping paper are mixed materials; even tinsel and glitter are unrecyclable plastic.

The solution is to use materials that can be composted or recycled.
Use natural jute twine, this comes in a range of bright colours perfect for tying up presents. There is also string made from sheep's wool available in red and green. All these can go straight in your compost bin.
Use coloured, but unshiny, wrapping paper or tissue paper, FSC or recycled of course. These can be composted or recycled. The colours are not harmful, most are made from vegetable dyes.
It is now possible to get Ecoglitter made from plant cellulose that you can apply to wrapping paper, pine cones, twigs or your face. This will rot in to your compost without a trace. No micro plastics to pollute your garden for centuries to come.

A natural Christmas tree, real holly, ivy and other evergreens can all be composted or reused in the garden.
Christmas tree branches provide invaluable plant supports.  Snip the branches as close to the trunk as possible and store them upright.  When the needles have dropped, you’re left with a range of different sized supports.

The large branches at the base make ideal pea sticks and will support the larger flowers at the back of the herbaceous border.  Place the sticks in the ground early in the season, before the plants need them.  The flowers will cover and completely conceal the branches.

Use the small and medium-sized branches in a similar way.  The small ones can be used for tiny pea seedlings and will prevent birds from ripping them out of the ground.

Composting
All conifer branches, including those from Christmas trees or other decorations, take several years to break down in a home compost bin because of the resins they contain.
Holly and ivy are quicker and should be gone within 2 years unless the stalks are very woody and thick.

Shredding
Christmas tree branches can be shredded, though you will need to cut up the tree in to suitable sized pieces. The shreddings make a good mulch especially for plants that prefer acid conditions.
Do not try to shred ivy as it will wind round the cutters and block the machine.

Christmas decorations can also be put in to a Dead Hedge.