Less Messy Christmas Tree Removal




This is my method for getting rid of my live Christmas tree without trashing the house. By January the needles and branches are extremely brittle and go everywhere.

No pictures knocked off the wall. No scratched walls. No back breaking from lugging a whole tree. No wasting time with those giant and useless Christmas tree bags.

And best of all, less pine needles everywhere. While this isn't a big deal with Douglas Firs it is brutal with other species, say Colorado Spruce trees. Their needles are tiny evil daggers that get stuck in everything and make you want to scream when they get stuck in your sock. I know from experience.

Minimal hassle and supplies.

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Step 1: Supplies

Pruning shears
Receptacle (I used a large bucket)

Step 2: Prep Tree

This one is pretty obvious. Remove all the ornaments and lights.

Step 3: Get That Tree on the Tarp

This is the hardest part. Spread the tarp out as best as you can over your area. My tree stand has three rebar legs. I lifted the leg closest and slid as much of the tarp under it that I could. I then had my wife push the tree for me while I laid on the floor to slide the tarp under the other two legs. If you have a smaller tree you might be able to pick it up and simply place it on the tarp. My wife likes 8 foot tall trees so I can't move it that easily.

Step 4: Cut Branches Off

Put gloves on. Get pruning shears. Start cutting the branches off. I cut them smaller to fit in the bucket I use. If you have a fire place you can cut them to fireplace size to burn. Cut to your needs. Smaller tends to be less messy but takes more time.

Cut until you fill up your receptacle. Then take outside or wherever you are disposing of the branches. It took me five buckets to remove all the branches. This process took maybe 20 minutes so I suggest listening to some music. Thanks Pandora shuffle!!

Step 5: Remove Trunk From Base

Remove the truck from the base. I placed some grocery bags around it to make sure that no water leaked on the way out of the house.

Dispose of however you want. I threw mine in the wood behind my house.

Step 6: Admire All the Mess

Check out the tarp now that the tree is gone. It's probably covered in needles and small branches and sticks. Mine was. Appreciate that it's on the tarp and not your floor or rug or carpet. It's not much fun to get out especially if the needles are evil.

Step 7: Remove Tarp

Remove the tree stand while being careful to not spill any water still in the basin.

Carefully fold up the tarp to trap the junk inside. This is easier with two people.

Take outside and discard.

Step 8: Clean Up / Life Back to Normal

Sweep and/or vacuum your floor to get what was there before you started and anything that might have missed the tarp.

Put furniture back.

Celebrate that the tree is gone while not having destroyed anything or messed up your house.

In all, the process took me about 45 STRESS FREE minutes.

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    7 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Great idea! I'd be inclined to start with the tarp already under the stand when first setting up the tree. Maybe fold it in on four sides then cover with a tree skirt. That way, when ready to dismantle, just remove the skirt, unfold the tarp and proceed as you suggested.

    3 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    King sized sheet folds up and tucks under the skirt better than a plastic tarp. We have one that's almost the same color of our skirt so it it does happen to pop out its not as noticeable. We wrap the tree up after season but we also throw the tree in one of our ponds for the fish instead of trimming all the limbs.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    neo71665 we also use the king sheet way. Because our city recycles them in often the same way as you, I feel it did not die and become waste.

    ALSO, take note. You do not want to throw in your wood burning fireplace in the house. Burning fir and pines are not safe for you fireplace and chimney. It can be a huge fire hazard. Now an put side fire pit may be fine, just be careful. They burn quickly and can be dangerous if you are not careful. They are so very flammable.

    Be safe, recycle, and enjoy.....God bless


    5 years ago

    Thanks everyone! And that's a fantastic idea losingitinga!


    5 years ago

    Nice and helpful! You earned my vote


    5 years ago on Introduction

    What a good way to do it. Much nicer than chucking the whole tree out into the street. :)