How to Safely Prepare and Dispose of Your Christmas Tree and Holiday Decorations

interior christmas. magic glowing tree, fireplace, gifts in  dark at night

How to Safely Prepare and Dispose of Your Christmas Tree and Holiday Decorations

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Maintenance responsibility is a year-round task. You clear the leaves from the gutter in the fall, you get the roof inspected every spring, and you change the HVAC filter regularly. But maintenance duties also extend to holiday celebrations. Not only do you ensure that festivities treat your venue with respect, you also are responsible for safe decorations and safe disposal of your decorations.

The Christmas tree is the single most challenging safety matter for many building managers around the holidays. If you bring a real evergreen into your venue to decorate, there are more than a few safety precautions that are best for everyone to take. Let’s have a closer look at how to safely care for and dispose of your Christmas tree along with other holiday decorations.


Christmas Tree Safety Tips

A live Christmas tree poses several potential dangers to the household unless properly set up. It’s important to have the right stand and provide the right care for a real Christmas tree to enhance your joy and reduce any safety risks.

  • Use a Sturdy Tree Stand
    • Make sure you have a stand that is strong enough for the height and weight of your Christmas tree. Only use metal stands, as plastic can be flimsy. Otherwise, your heavy tree is at risk of falling over.
  • Fill Tree Stand with Water
    • A cut Christmas tree needs water to stay moist or the needles will turn brown, fall off, and become a fire hazard. A tree stand for a natural tree needs to hold a gallon of water and be kept filled.
  • Keep Away from Heaters
    • Do not place your tree near floor or wall vents that blow hot air. Also keep your tree away from portable electric heaters.
  • Fire Retardant Tree Skirt
    • Make sure your tree skirt is fire-retardant so that it does not contribute to the dry tree risk and can help resist minor electrical fires.
  • Sweep Up Dropped Needles
    • When your natural Christmas tree drops dry needles, sweep or vacuum them up quickly.


Taking Down Holiday Decorations

Always be careful when taking down the holiday decorations put up in merriment. Holiday decorations can be set in the yard, on the tree, or most dangerously, hung from the rooftop. Use proper safety precautions and work with a friend or family member to ensure that no one goes up a ladder or climbs an icy step without assistance. Consider hooked sticks to bring down some of the more precarious decorations.

  • Use Safe Ladder Protocols
    • If you go up on a ladder to take down Christmas ornaments, be safe. Place your ladder on firm, flat ground and don’t reach too far without moving the ladder first.
  • Work With a Partner
    • Always have a second person to help out when you’re taking down Christmas decorations. Ask them to hold the ladder and to receive decorations that you hand down.
  • Dispose of Broken Decorations
    • If any of your holiday decorations are broken and won’t be used next year, make sure they get securely into the trash bin.
  • Dry Decorations Before Packing Away
    • Before you pack away decorations to store until next year, ensure that they are dry. Do not pack away damp ornaments, as this can incite mold and electrical damage.


Disposing of Your Christmas Tree

When you dispose of your Christmas tree, you have several options to choose from. As long as the tree is safely dealt with and removed from the venue, everything should be good. There are many practical and delightful ways to dispose of an evergreen tree once it is no longer needed to hold up ornaments. You can landscape with it, make something of it, or burn it for good-smelling firewood during the rest of the winter and cold spring months.

  • Remove All Ornaments and Decorations
    • Never recycle or burn a tree that has decorations still on it. Remove every ornament and decoration, including tinsel strands and lights. Flocked trees also have fewer disposal options and will likely need to be thrown away.
  • 4 Tree Disposal Options
    • Chop It Into the Yard Bin
      • If you have a yard scrap bin for lawn cuttings, cut up your tree and place it in this bin for natural recycling.
    • Order Curbside Pickup
      • Your city or local services may offer curbside pickup for Christmas tree disposal or recycling.
    • DIY Recycle into a Landscaping Feature
      • You can use your tree as a birdfeeder or pond fish habitat in your landscaping instead of disposing of it.
    • Chop and Burn as Firewood
      • Or you can chop up your tree into small fragrant firewood logs. This is a great choice for venues with a fireplace for those cold early spring months.


Putting Away Artificial Trees

If you used an artificial tree this year,  you have different options for using or disposing of the tree. Artificial trees are fantastic for reducing the effort, mess, and cleanup of a real tree. While they don’t come with the beautiful smell of drying pine, they can be used year after year or even donated to a future family if you’d like a different tree next year.

  • Keep It for Next Year
    • Many artificial trees are designed to be enjoyed year after year. Simply disassemble and pack up the tree into it’s original box.
  • DIY Repurposing
    • If you don’t want to use the tree next year, consider all the things you can do with the pieces. You can make artificial wreaths, for example.
  • Donate to a New Family
    • Artificial trees are great for low-income families without the time or funds for a new tree every year. Donate your artificial tree or pass it on to someone you know who could use an easy-up, no-mess Christmas tree next year.
  • Dispose of in Bulk Trask Pickup
    • Many cities offer bulk trash pickup after the holidays. Your artificial tree will fit right in.


Making the right choice when cleaning up holiday decorations can start your new year on the right track. As you undecorate your venue, be sure to dispose of your Tannenbaum in a practical and eco-friendly way.

Regional Services

Regional Services

Regional Services are an experienced commercial and office cleaning company based in London. Regional Services are an award winning and fully accredited cleaning company who provide a full range of facility management services and expertise including cleaning, maintenance, waste removal, pest control, gardening and more.


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