Woman choosing tree

Top tips for a more sustainable Christmas – starting with your tree

Looking for ways to be more sustainable over the holidays? Whether you want to avoid waste, give plastic the cold shoulder or just want to get a bit creative over the festive period, Forestry England has put together some of our top tips to make your Christmas tree even greener this year.

Buy a tree from your local forest

We know our climate is in crisis and that trees, woods and forests are vital for the on-going success of our environment and our overall health and wellbeing. Buying your real Christmas tree from Forestry England helps to look after the nation’s forests and boosts your wellbeing with a magical day out.

Forestry England is opening 12 Christmas tree sales centres across the country, offering high-quality real Christmas trees.

Choose a Grown in Britain certified tree

By choosing a Grown in Britain-certified Christmas tree you’ll be confident that it has not been imported, reducing ‘tree miles’ and helping to minimise the risk of importing new pests and diseases to help our environment.

Forestry England sells Grown in Britain-certified Christmas trees in forests across the country – visit https://www.forestryengland.uk/real-christmas-trees to find your nearest forest.

If you want to go that little bit extra, opt for a potted tree

Grown to around three to four feet tall, potted trees may be smaller than your typical Christmas tree but they can literally last a lifetime. Once they’ve been the focal point of your living room for the holiday season, with a little love and care potted trees make fantastic patio plant. Or, if you have enough garden space, plant your tree to grow and thrive after the holidays– it’ll also help provide food for wildlife like siskins, who love to eat seeds from spruce trees.

Re-use Christmas decorations and avoid single-use tree decs

For many, unboxing and dusting off Christmas decorations marks the start of the holiday season. It’s also a great time to get the whole family involved by making your own decs. If you do need to spruce up your spruce why not get crafty? Forestry England has some great ideas for making the perfect decorations with your family.

Choose FSC- or PEFC-certified Christmas cards and wrapping paper

A sustainable Christmas tree doesn’t have to stop at your family’s tree, it’s also about the many trees around the world that have gone into making Christmassy products like wrapping paper, as well as Christmas cards – a whopping 1 billion of which are sold in the UK each year. Look for the FSC logo or PEFC logo to be sure that your cards and wrapping paper have come from well managed forests that support local people, or give old newspapers a second life as Christmas wrapping paper – and make sure to recycle everything when you’re done.

Recycle your tree

There’s nothing sadder than the sight a real Christmas tree in a plastic bin bag on the kerb ready to go to landfill after the holidays. There are lots of great alternatives to choose from that will put your tree to good use. Local authorities offer tree recycling and will use wood chip locally, charities such as just-helping.org.uk will also collect your tree for a small donation to their cause. Your local zoo may even want them for enclosure enrichment and food!

Give a whole forest

A Forestry England membership is the perfect Christmas present that lasts all year.  Research suggests spending time connecting with nature, and especially being amongst trees improves our health and wellbeing. Ditch the plastic and put happiness at the heart of your gift this year.

Notes to Editor

  1. Photos are available to download here: - Please credit: Forestry England/Crown Copyright
  2. Forestry England manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, with over 363 million visits per year. As England’s largest land manager, we shape landscapes and enhance forests for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and businesses to grow. We are continuing the work we have already started to make the nation’s forests resilient to climate change and by 2026 we will:  
  • create at least 6,000 more hectares where we integrate wilding activities in our productive forests.
  • increase the diversity of visitors to the nation’s forests and have one million hours of high-quality volunteer time given to the nation’s forests
  • plant at least 2,000 hectares of new, high quality, predominantly broadleaf woodlands
  • For more information visit forestryengland.uk Forestry England is an agency of the Forestry Commission.

Christmas tree sale centres

1. Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire

2. Hamsterley Forest, Durham

3. Haldon Forest, Devon

4. Cardinham Woods, Cornwall

5. Whinlatter Forest, Cumbriam

6. Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

7. New Forest, Hampshire

8. Moors Valley Country Park, Dorset

9. Alice Holt Forest, Surrey

10. Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire

11. Guisborough Forest, North Yorkshire

12. Rotherbury Forest, Northumberland

Media Contact:

Rebecca Ulewicz, Media Relations Officer | media@forestryengland.uk | t: 07771 971813