Photography – The afterlife

A Picture story on abandoned Xmas trees

As so many people bought a tree to look at during xmas time and then in the new year throw them outside to be picked up by the garbage men or let nature take over. I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at this strange habit.

I made a reportage of some of the abandoned trees I found lying  around (so many) in the area where I live. Most of the time I used double exposure.

With in my mind a question saying:

Why do people want to have a tree in their home and slowly watch it dying? What is the purpose behind such a thing. Do they not realize the time and beauty it takes for a tree to grow? Why would you let it be chopped down, look at it for a month, and then throw it away? It just does not make any sense to me.





sign says; Also here dogs should be on a leash

belindaclaushuisXMAS04Note: sign says Temporarily offering garbage location

belindaclaushuisXMAS05Note: The red paper is leftover firework lying around in the streets


belindaclaushuisXMAS07Note: Sign Please no parking backwards associated with exhaust

belindaclaushuisXMAS-08Note: A garbage man drives by on the main road. In the street around the corner, 2 min.later, I find a sign saying: Don’t leave your tree lying around. And mind you, it also says: if you return a ‘used’ tree, you can even win a prize..

belindaclaushuisXMAS09Note: first exposure: two Moorhens swimming in the canal, second exposure: firework leftovers on the pavement




Note: woman catching a tree, hanging on a wire coming from a third floor window and putting it with the trash outside.



The afterlife

The life of a Xmas tree

Belinda Claushuis 2013


12 Replies to “Photography – The afterlife”

  1. I have often wondered at this same thing… which is why I haven’t had a “real” tree in some years…I love the smell, though, so when I walk by those Christmas tree sellers, I pick up the little discarded branches and make a wreath or a display. I guess this is still kinda the same thing as having a tree…but it’s the difference of watching the hair or some other appendage wilt, rather than watch the whole body die.

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  2. Brilliant example of everyday local documentary, simple and to the point but with a message and questions behind it. It made me think of some parts of England where discarded and recycled Christmas trees have been laid in sand dunes to prevent erosion… At least in Manchester the council recycle them.


    1. Wow, I say 10 points for Manchester!
      Great to read a good explanation of my fotoproject’The Afterlife’. It’s also something that is in need for exposure outside my blog. thanks for your comment as it incurriges me to put it on the agenda!


      1. Belinda, trees have been my friends and protectors throughout life. I am so grateful for all the gifts they have given me. I am grateful to you for putting into words and pictures something that I have noticed too about the Christmas tree phenomenon, but had never fully articulated to the extent your post did. I hope many more people see this post!


  3. Such a beautiful articulation in word and pictures of a perspective few ever consider! Thanks, too, for visiting my blog!


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