Christmas Trees (Real) Special Instructions Your community’s residential garbage and recycling service provider accepts Christmas trees for recycling after December 25. Trees must be cut into 4 foot or shorter lengths, with no tree parts greater than 6 inches in diameter. Tinsel and ribbons, stands and all other decorations must be removed. Flocked trees are not accepted. Place tree parts in your green waste cart no later than 6am on your regular collection day. Chicago Grade Landfill, Cold Canyon Landfill, Santa Maria Transfer Station and Paso Robles Landfill also accept Christmas trees for recycling. Fees apply. Remove All Ornaments, Lights, and Tinsel Before you recycle your live Christmas tree, make sure that it is free of all ornaments, lights, and tinsel. Flocked Trees Are Not Recyclable If your tree has flocking (sprayed-on fake snow), it can’t be recycled and will have to go in the trash instead. Ways to Reduce Skip the Christmas Tree and Decorate a Potted Tree Instead It may be unconventional, but skipping the traditional Christmas tree (real or fake) altogether and decorating a potted tree you’ve bought or have in your home is a truly green way to have a tree for the holidays. Buy a Rooted Tree and Plant It After the Holidays Next holiday season, buy a tree with roots (it can be balled and burlap or containerized) and plant it in your yard after you use it. Did You Know? Christmas Trees as Job Creators According to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), the Christmas tree industry employs more than 100,000 people in the United States. The Environmental Benefits of Christmas Trees Although they’re planted just to be cut down and used as a decoration once they’ve reached maturity, Christmas tree farms have a positive impact on the environment. Each acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen for the daily needs of 18 people.