With COP26 starting this week, people all over the UK will be looking at ways to be a little bit more eco-friendly.

And one way you can do that is by buying a real Christmas tree.

Although many people believe buying real Christmas trees is damaging to the environment due to the amount that is cut down each year, this is not the case.

The experts at GardeningExpress.co.uk have pulled together different ways people can make sure they’re doing their bit for the environment this festive season such as reusing and replanting their trees.

Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk said: “It’s understandable why people think buying real Christmas trees is harmful to the environment but it’s actually the opposite.

“It takes around eight years for farmers to grow a decent sized Christmas tree, and over this time, the tree is helping to clean the air by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen – this is called photosynthesis.

“Essentially, the more real trees we buy, the more that can be planted in their place, meaning that they can continue to exhale oxygen which slows down climate change.

“Thousands of households up and down the country will be buying Christmas trees so it’s the perfect time for us all to take these small steps which will help contribute to a bigger change in tackling climate issues.”

Buy a real tree
Buying a real Christmas tree will not only mean that farmers can plant more in their place, but it also means that you can recycle it once the holidays are over.

If you were to purchase an artificial tree, you may be able to reuse but when it comes to purchasing a new one, it will be thrown out and will sit in a landfill site for hundreds of years.

Recycling your tree
Another benefit of buying a real tree is that it can be recycled when you’re done with it.

There are companies that will come and pick up your tree and grind it into mulch for you or you can usually drop it off at a garden centre, but if you have a shredder it can also be done at home.

Make sure you take the correct safety precautions and cut off each branch and place them one by one into the shredder, ensuring you don’t jam the machine. You can use the mulch in your garden to protect your plants.

Replanting your tree
Another benefit of buying a real tree is that it can be replanted after.

Purchasing a tree with the root ball still intact means that you can replant it outside as long as it has been taken care of.

The tree will still be suitable to plant as long as it’s been kept away from heat sources.

If you do plan on replanting the tree, you should keep in mind that they can only be kept in your house for around one to two weeks so that it can adjust back to the outside conditions.

Make use of the branches
Keen gardeners can actually make use of the branches from Christmas trees and use them to protect garden beds in the cold.

The branches can be used as a frame with a frost protection fabric on top.

Plant your own tree
This idea is perfect for those with young kids – planting your own tree with children can be such a rewarding task.

It may take around eight years to grow but for children what could be more exciting than having a Christmas tree that you have grown yourself.