image of goat, christmas trees and a text saying: what animals eat christmas trees

What Animals Eat Christmas Trees?

Written by: Akeem Eletu
Last updated on:
image of goats

In the same way that humans have some weird habits, some animals exhibit their weird habits too. In all its sacredness and purpose, christmas trees are something you wouldn’t think would interest animals in terms of food. 

But this is not the case because some animals are very interested in and can eat Christmas trees if they lay their “hands” on them.

Continue reading this captivating piece to learn what animals eat christmas trees,  why they want to eat them, some risks and benefits, and the different types of christmas trees.

Can Animals Eat Christmas Trees?

Yes, some animals can eat Christmas trees. If you own a real tree, don’t be so quick to dispose of it after Christmas, along with the wrapping papers and other dumps. Instead, you can donate your tree to zoos around you or farms that rear animals.

Some animals won’t say no to being fed a tasty Christmas tree. Ensure that you put away all decorations used for the tree before giving out your Christmas tree. Some of these decorations are plastic and other materials that can harm the animals.

The best thing to do is give out the natural bit and keep every other artificial decoration till the next Christmas when you might need them again.

Animals That Eat Christmas Trees

Here are some animals that will make a big deal out of christmas trees and make you think they got a whole bucket of chicken or a box of pizza with them.


Goats are animals that love the green and would eat just about anything. This description of anything includes christmas trees. Most goats get very excited about sighting a christmas tree and can chew off almost all the greens in a few minutes. 

Pine needles nourish animals with vitamin C. So eating christmas trees builds the goat’s immune system. Other nutritional values of christmas trees include their ability to control worms in animals. So when you think about what animals eat Christmas trees, goats are definitely a part of that list.


Rabbits like to snack on the pine seeds and even proceed to seek camouflaged protection from predators on the needles that litter the forest floors.


Another animal that derives pleasure from feasting on christmas trees is the pig. Besides serving as a dewormer for your pig, there are other benefits pigs stand to get from munching on pine trees. 

Although pigs are not as efficient at digesting greens as ruminant animals, they love to eat the greens on christmas trees anytime they get a chance.


Squirrels enjoy a nice fir, spruce, or pine meal. You can count the squirrels in, whenever a christmas tree is involved. They get entertained by jumping around on the branches and hiding in the trees. But they are more interested in the wires.

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image of chipmunks

Chipmunks are naturally tree lovers, and they enjoy a nice climb around the Christmas tree. Also, they relish the tasty and nutritious pine cone seeds whenever they can. They love it so much that they carry these seeds in their puffy cheeks for keep-sake. 


For elephants, Christmas trees serve as a bonus to them. The trees complement elephants’ regular diet, thereby providing extra nutrients. This is possible because of the sweet resin component Christmas trees has within. 

Apart from the nutritional values, christmas trees serve as the perfect plaything for elephants to toss and throw.

Many other animals eat christmas trees. The moose is one of them. Although the vegetation might be too high for it to reach, moose usually enjoy tree bark, and the christmas tree bark is no exception. Other animals that depend on christmas trees include black-capped chickadee, bears, etc.

Types of Christmas Trees

You can break down Christmas trees of various types into different categories. Here are some of them.

Fir Trees

image of fir trees

Their needles are soft, and they have the perfect classic shape of a typical Christmas tree. Also, they possess a general citrus smell that is pleasant to the nose. Of them all, the Balsam Fir is said to be the most sweet-scented of all types of christmas trees.

  • Normand Fir
  • Balsam Fir
  • Frase Fir
  • Canaan Fir
  • Douglas Fir
  • Grand Fir
  • Noble Fir
  • Korean Fir
  • Concolour Fir

Spruce Trees

The branches of spruce trees are not dense, and they have short needles that are sharp-edged. This tree type is more suitable for an outdoor Christmas because it favors cooler climates.

  • Norway Spruce
  • Blue Spruce
  • White Spruce
  • Black Hills Spruce

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Pine Trees

image of pine trees

If you don’t want to deal with a massive tree or fallen needles all season, this is the best christmas tree to choose. They also have sturdy needles that stay on for a while.

  • Virginia Pine
  • White Pine
  • Scotch Pine

Risks of Animals Eating Christmas Trees

Christmas trees can be toxic to a certain extent since the oils from the tree (fir tree) can cause extreme vomiting and drooling. 

Also, excessive sharp tree needles are nasty for the internal part of animals’ stomachs. Ornaments for the tree, such as the lights, tinsel, and other decorative items, can pose a fatal danger for animals if they are not removed before the trees are fed to the animals. 

Some artificial trees contain 100% PVC (Polyvinyl chloride; a widely used synthetic plastic) and fire retardant chemicals. PVC contains harmful chemical additives like lead, phthalates, organotins, and cadmium.

This kind of tree is toxic and is not edible for animals. Eating this type of tree can cause these animals to develop digestive problems and other health issues. It would be best to ensure how natural your christmas tree is before feeding them to your animals.

Final Thoughts

Christmas trees don’t only serve decorative purposes; they can also serve as food for animals that like them. In addition to adding beauty and life to a room, christmas trees also nourish and keep these animals entertained.

Recycling has never been better. You can donate your christmas tree to a farm right after you cut it. As a lover of nature, you would be supporting the sustainable use of earth’s resources by feeding them to an animal that would love to munch them for food. That is why this great piece about what animals eat christmas trees really comes in handy.

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