This is a question I encounter frequently, especially in the aftermath of Christmas when people are packing away the Christmas decorations. The answer is a firm no, and there’s a compelling reason behind it.

First and foremost, wood from Christmas trees tends to be highly resinous or ‘sappy.’ Directly placing it into a fire is strongly discouraged as it poses a significant risk, potentially leading to a chimney fire. It’s not a chance worth taking.

Even if the tree wood is left to dry for a while, it still retains a notable moisture content, resulting in the same risks. However, if your tree came with a wooden base, this part can often be repurposed as fuel. Yet, refrain from immediately tossing it into the fire—let it dry for a minimum of 12 months, and before using it, confirm its moisture levels with a meter.

Although this may be disappointing, the potential risks outweigh the benefits. Christmas tree wood generates minimal heat (try burning it outdoors), and burning it in your chimney will result in the accumulation of tar and creosote, eventually leading to a chimney fire.

Instead, consider waiting until spring and checking with your neighbours to see if they are removing any trees. Oak, ash, and birch are excellent choices for stoves and open fires, but make sure they have been properly seasoned. Network with people or monitor social media for those willing to part with untreated, natural wood.

Avoid using treated woods, painted, or lacquered pieces. Pallet wood is not recommended either, as it usually undergoes some form of treatment, releasing chemicals into the chimney during combustion. Save it for the bonfire.


As for the Christmas tree itself, the most suitable disposal method is placing it in your green recycling bin or Teignbridge Council have several pop up Christmas Tree Recycling Points. There are now several charities and organisations (such as Newton Abbot Young Farmers) that will come and collect them your home, for a small donation.

For professional and friendly chimney sweep services in Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot, Chudleigh, Chagford  and nearby areas, you can book your ProSweep Professional Chimney Sweep on 01626 832051