How green is your Christmas tree?


When it comes to Christmas trees, many people don’t consider the environmental impact of bringing trees into their homes each year, whether real or artificial.

The Woodland Trust has put together some top tips for those thinking about a greener Christmas.


Real trees

Buy a tree with roots and replant for next year

Buying a potted Christmas tree, means it can be enjoyed this year in the home, and planted or stored in the garden to be used next year. This is the most environmentally-friendly way of having a Christmas tree, if space will allow.

Rent your tree over the Christmas period 

Some garden centres and tree nurseries are now offering Christmas trees for rent. You can rent a potted Christmas tree over the festive period, and return it to the garden centre afterwards, where it will be reused the next year.


Get an FSC certified felled tree

If you’re a fan of a felled tree, ensure you are buying one from a local grower with Forest Stewardship Council accreditation. The FSC certificate ensures that the trees have been grown sustainably. If your local grower isn’t FSC certified, you can ask the farm if it managed in a sustainable way. Also, using big machinery is not ideal when it comes to tree growing as it erodes the soil, so always try to get trees that are planted and felled by hand.

Artificial trees

In it for the long haul

Artificial trees are likely to be made from plastic (usually PVC), so it probably is better to use a real one as PVC is not recyclable. It’s estimated that you’d need to use a PVC tree for at least 20 years to balance out the amount of energy that goes into their production. However, you can buy artificial trees that are made from more environmentally-friendly materials, so shop around and see what’s out there. It’s important that you recycle your old artificial tree properly.


For more information about Woodland conservation, visit