How to Take Down Your Christmas Tree

January 3, 2013 | By | Comments (3)

Christmas Tree

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree—which happens to be just a block from Real Simple’s office—is coming down in just a few days. We can’t even begin to imagine how to safely (not to mention neatly) dispose of an 80-foot Norway spruce, but we do have some tips for getting rid of the Douglas Fir in your living room.

When you’re ready to take the tree down, ladle water out of the stand, using a turkey baster for the last drops. If you used a tree skirt that doubles as a tree bag, use that to wrap up the tree. Otherwise, buy a Christmas tree bag (we like the Giant Christmas Tree Removal Bag, $3.50 at When the tree is out of the house, sweep up needles rather than vacuuming; they can clog the machine.

How do you get rid of your Christmas tree? Share your tips in the comments. And if you’re looking for space-saving storage solutions for your ornaments, check out these bright ideas.


  1. Sheila

    Wow great advice- empty water, bag the tree (which by the way do not do if your township recycles them) & sweep the needles! Cutting edge stuff here at real simple!

    January 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm
  2. Deb

    We just walk our tree downstairs and take a large round tablecloth and wrap it around it. Whola! Remove the tablecloth next December and it is ready to go for next year.

    January 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm
  3. Duane

    Habitat for Humanity will be using lumber milled from the 2012 Rockefeller Christmas Tree in the construction of homes in New York and New Jersey. This is the sixth time the tree has been donated to Habitat. Read the story here:

    January 8, 2013 at 9:25 am

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