What happens to unsold Christmas trees

Christmas trees: what happens to them?

The German citizen spent an average of 24 euros on the Christmas tree - usually for around two weeks of joy in the living room. Now Nordmann fir and co have had their day again. They needles, they dry out, the Christmas decorations are taken down again.

Since yesterday, the disposal companies of the municipalities and districts have been busy collecting the trees again across the country. The good news: There is usually a second rennet for the Christmas trees after they have been kicked out of the apartment. The cities and municipalities use them very differently.

The classic is now burning in bio-power plants. There they supply electricity and district heating. In Berlin, for example, the approximately 350,000 trees are delivered directly to such a power plant. From the power plant it is said that the trees are sufficient to supply 500 households with heat and electricity for a year.

In other large cities the trees are composted, for example in Leipzig, in Munich the remains are processed into chipboard. Other cities use the trees for their zoos and animal parks. For example in Wuppertal and Stuttgart. Elephants in particular perceive Christmas trees as a delicacy, according to the Association of Wastewater and Raw Materials Management, BDE. However, the problem arises here that the trees must be free of tinsel and balls. Therefore, the unsold Christmas trees of the dealers are mainly used for the zoos. When burning, on the other hand, there is no problem even if there are still small remnants of tinsel or balls on the trees, reassures the environmental association WWF.

There are also alternative uses for the Christmas trees

It is well known that the people in Germany's municipalities are very creative. And this is how a tradition around the Christmas trees in Wiedenthal in Rhineland-Palatinate can be explained. The World Championships in Christmas tree throwing took place there on Epiphany. For example, it is important to throw a spruce like a spear, but the trees that fly through the air there are no longer discarded Christmas trees. It is freshly felled wood from the community forest. Not at the level of a world championship, but raised as a great spectacle, there is also a Christmas tree throwing in Peine in Lower Saxony. Originally disused Christmas trees are still flying through the air there - the proceeds from the event will go to a good cause on site.

Researchers are also increasingly interested in old Christmas trees. They can be used as raw materials for sweeteners and colors. The background: The pine needles consist of 85 percent lignocellulose. This can be broken down into chemicals with the help of heat and solvents. At the University of Sheffield, research is currently being carried out into developing high-quality raw materials such as sugar in this way. According to the research results, the substances are also suitable for mouthwashes.

Remnants of Christmas trees for household use

And then there were the very simple home remedies. A bath additive with essential oils can be made from the needles. The needles in a hot bath and they relieve pain from strains, rheumatism or colds. The reason for this is the essential oils in the needles, which have an expectorant and relaxing effect. Rule of thumb for household use: 100 grams of Tanen or spruce needles for a full bath. The KOMMUNAL tip: Boil the needles in water for about 10 minutes beforehand and pour the brew through a sieve into the bath water.

An alternative is to repel snails in the garden. The animals don't like to crawl over the pricking needles at all. So up with the needles on the beds and plants.

The branches, on the other hand, are - especially in these days in southern Germany - a good frost protection. Lay the branches flat on the flower bed in several layers.

And here are two more tips for all hobbyists: The branches of the Christmas trees grow quite evenly in a ring shape around the trunk. Therefore, they are well suited to make clothes hooks out of them yourself. How to do this, there is even a video on Youtube:

Those who prefer to tinker with wooden buttons are also well served with the wood of the Christmas trees. At least the thicker branches can be used to make beautiful things with a saw, sandpaper and hand drill. Finally, a tip for the trunk: a layer of mulch protects against the cold, gives the soil new nutrients and also keeps weeds off,

However, it is not a good idea to burn the Christmas tree in your own fireplace. After the holidays, the wood usually still has a moisture content of at least 40 percent - so at best it will stink and smoke but not burn nicely. Experts say that the wood must be stored for at least 2 years after the Christmas days so that it burns well ... So if you have a dry place at home ...