When to take your Christmas Tree down and how to get rid of it in each London borough

Just like that, the festive period is now over for Londoners and soon everyone will be reluctantly returning to work.

Most people will be taking down their Christmas tree this week and if it’s a real one, will be wondering what they need to do with it.

Officially, decorations should come down on Epiphany, January 6, but according to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, a Christmas tree that’s well looked after will only last around four weeks or more.

READ MORE:Mum reveals why she takes her Christmas tree down once kids have gone to sleep on Christmas Day

All Christmas decorations must be removed from the tree before putting it out for recycling

So for many Londoners who bought their tree at the beginning of December, its shelf-life is likely almost over.

Here’s everything you need to know on how and where to get rid of it borough by borough.

First, it’s important to remember that waste collection days and reuse and recycling centres often run on a different rota over the Christmas period, and many councils may be experiencing staff shortages due to Covid-19 and having to self-isolate.

If the council is willing to collect your Christmas tree, you must make sure it’s stripped from decorations, pots and any soil you added to it – it essentially needs to look like it did on the day you purchased it.

Discarded Christmas Tree

There’s a range of ways to recycle your Christmas tree

If it’s being collected in your garden waste bin, you will need to chop down its branches into smaller pieces so it can fit inside.

And if you are leaving your Christmas tree outside your doorstep, do make sure it’s not obstructing any walkways or pavements, otherwise, this could be classed as fly-tipping and you could receive a hefty fine – and that’s definitely not something you need right now.

Barking and Dagenham

Barking and Dagenham will not be collecting real Christmas trees as part of waste collection.

Christmas drop-off sites will instead be running on Wednesday (January 5), Thursday (January 6) and Saturday (January 8) at various sites from 9am to 3pm.

Click here to find out the exact locations.


For Barnet residents, the council will be collecting them on regular waste collection days throughout January.

Make sure they are broken in half and there’s no baubles or tinsel in sight.

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Bexley Council will collect your Christmas tree, but only if you’re signed up to the garden waste service.

The service doesn’t actually run again until January 10, so the council won’t collect it until a week’s time.

Alternatively, Bexley residents can recycle their trees to one of two centres – Thames Road in Crayford or Maidstone Road in Foots Cray.

Click here for more information.


Brent residents signed up to the garden waste collection can get it picked up on garden waste collection days, otherwise a one-off bulky waste collection is also available at the price of £35.

If you’re not signed up to the garden waste collection service or don’t want to pay, take it to the Reuse and Recycling Centre on Abbey Road.


Bromley Council has a number of temporary recycling centres where residents can drop their trees off.

Pop-up recycling venues will run this weekend (January 8 and 9) in Bromley, Green Street Green, Beckenham and Bigging Hill.

Timings vary so head to the website to find out more.

Alternatively, residents signed up to the garden waste collection service can chop down their tree and put it in their green garden waste bin.


Camden Council has a number of Christmas tree recycling points operating across the borough from Monday, 3 January to Friday, 14 January.

A handy Christmas Tree Recycling Point Map is available for Camden residents to find out where they can drop their tree off.

Garden waste subscribers can chop their trees down and leave them in their garden waste bin.

City of London

City of London residents should contact their Estate Office or concierge for exact details on where and how they can recycle their festive tree.

The borough normally has a Christmas tree recycling service where residents can drop off their real trees at collection points, however it doesn’t appear to be running this year.


The council hasn’t released any information on where residents will need to recycle their Christmas trees in Croydon this year, so it’s best to check the council’s website for updates.

Here’s what residents had to do in 2020.


Like Croydon Council, there’s no word on the street yet on where Ealing residents will need to dispose of their real trees, but keep an eye on the council’s website for all of the latest updates.


Enfield Council is running a special Christmas tree collection service from Monday, 10 January to Friday, 21 January.

Residents can book online for the special service, or if they miss that, can drop it off at several collection points around the borough until Sunday, 30 January.

If you are subscribed to the garden waste service, then chop your tree down and pop it in your bin ready to be collected on the designated collection day.


The council hasn’t released any information on how and where residents can recycle their real trees this year. However, Greenwich Council has previously collected residents’ trees as part of their usual bin collection days.

Check the council’s website as an update is likely over the next few days.


Hackney Council will kindly collect residents’ trees from outside of properties on rubbish and recycling days from Monday (January 3) to Friday, 14 January. Make sure you leave it outside your house by 6am, or if you live in flats, pop it by the communal bins.

Alternatively, residents can drop their trees off at the Millfields Depot between Tuesday, 4 January and Sunday, 30 January.

Hammersmith & Fulham

It’s good news for Hammersmith & Fulham residents as the council are happy to collect trees from outside your doorstep from Monday, 3 January to Friday, 21 January as part of normal waste collection.

Just place it outside your front door on collection days, otherwise, residents can drop their trees off at 10 drop-off points across the borough.


Haringey residents can recycle their trees at the Haringey Recycling Centre in Wood Green, or there are six drop-off sites in parks available for the first four weeks after Christmas.

Otherwise, the council will collect trees on normal collection days for residents who live in a kerbside property.


Harrow residents can recycle their Christmas trees by dropping them at the Harrow Recycling Centre in Wealdstone.

Residents will need to bring photo ID and a proof of address such as a utility bill as this service is just for Harrow residents.

Click here to find out more about the service.


Havering residents subscribed to the garden waste or compo-stable sack services can chop their trees down and leave it in the garden waste bin.

Alternatively, residents can head down to Gerpins Lane House and Recycling Centre.


Hillingdon Council will collect real trees through January along with the weekly garden waste collection. This service is available to both those living in houses and flats, but people living in flats will need to ring the Hillingdon Contact Centre (01895 556000) to arrange a collection.


The council will collect Christmas trees from Hounslow residents from Monday, 10 January to Friday, 21 January.

Head on to the council’s website to find out for specific days and timings.

Residents who don’t use the wheelie bin service can drop their trees off at various collection points until Friday, 28 January.


Islington Council will kindly collect trees from houses and estates on designated recycling collection days.

Otherwise, there are nine drop-off points across the borough operating from Tuesday, 4 January to Saturday, 15 January.

If you miss the cut-off date, Hornsey Street recycling centre luckily accepts trees all year round.

Kensington & Chelsea

There are several drop-off points for Kensington & Chelsea residents to drop their trees off this January and will run until Sunday, 23 January.

Residents can also leave their trees outside of their house, which the council will collect on normal collection days until Friday, 21 January – but make sure to leave it outside the front by 7am.

For those living in flats, be sure to ask your property manager if there’s a separate collection on hand.


Kingston Council will collect your Christmas tree if you simply leave it next to your black wheelie bin from Monday, 10 January, or head on down to the recycling centre off of Villiers Road where you can dispose of your tree.


From Monday, 3 January, Lambeth Council will be collecting Christmas trees for free, just leave it next to your bins on collection day.

Those living on an estate will need to leave their trees out by the bin areas or bulky waste collection areas.

Alternatively, drop it off at Smugglers Way Recycling Centre or Vale Street Reuse and Recycling Centre.


Real trees can be recycled at several centres in Lewisham, and are available to view here.


Merton residents must leave their bare tree on their doorsteps by 6am on Monday, 10 January – any later and the council might not collect it.

The website states that trees will be collected by the end of January at the latest.

Otherwise, residents can drop their trees off at a recycling centre in Morden.

Garden waste subscribers can cut their tree down and leave it in their garden waste bin for collection.


Green and garden waste services are temporarily suspended, however, Newham residents can now book a free garden waste collection for their Christmas tree.

Collections will start from Tuesday, 4 January, otherwise drop your tree off at Jenkins Lane Reuse and Recycling centre in Beckton.


Redbridge residents should leave their Christmas trees on their doorstep by 6am, Monday, 10 January.

Trees will be collected over a two week period, otherwise, simply drop your tree off to Chigwell Road Reuse and Recycling Centre.


Richmond Council will collect Christmas trees from Monday, 3 January to Friday, 14 January on garden waste collection days – you don’t even have to be a garden waste subscriber to have your tree collected so it’s good news all around.

There are also seven drop-off points across the borough.


Southwark residents can arrange a free Christmas tree collection by emailing [email protected] – trees that are taller than 6ft will need to be chopped down.

Otherwise, Southwark residents subscribed to the garden waste collection service can simply leave it outside on designated waste collection days for the council to come and pick up.


Sutton residents can drop their trees off at the Kimpton Park Way recycling centre.

The council usually collects trees from the curbside during a two-week period on January – check the website regularly as this is yet to be announced.

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets residents subscribed to the food and garden waste collection service can leave their tree out from Monday, 3 January to Friday, 21 January.

Those who do not have access to kerbside collection services should speak to their caretaker or management company for more details on nearby collection points.

Waltham Forest

If you have a curbside collection, simply leave your tree next to your brown garden waste bin.

If you don’t, then drop it off at one of the three waste and recycling centres in Leyton, Chingford or Walthamstow.


The council will collect Christmas trees on normal collection days from Tuesday, 4 January to Friday, 14 January.

Alternatively, residents can drop their trees off at the Smugglers Way reuse and recycling centre.


Westminster residents will need to take their tree to one of the 25 drop-off points which operate until Tuesday, 11 January.

There won’t be a kerbside collection for Westminster residents this year.

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