By Montana Grant

Posted: December 5, 2020


We are already starting see convoys of fresh cut Christmas Trees driving down the roads. The annual tradition of cutting your own trees, on US Forest lands is here. You will need a permit for the trees that you harvest.

Annual Christmas Tree cutting, on Forest Service land, helps to thin the forests and prevent fires. There can also be standing dead trees, so look up and around before you cut.

You can print out your own permit at Type in the area and you will be able to select the National Forest that you plan to visit. You will also see that this year’s prices are listed as “FREE”! Thanks to the Covid 19 issues, you no longer need to go to a Forestry office or local store.

Here are some Tree Tips!

You are allowed up to 3 trees.

Pick trees from crowded forested areas.

Please cut trees under 12 feet tall.

Stumps need to be less than 6 inches tall.

You may not cut cedars, hemlocks, Limber and White Bark Pine. Know the tree species.

Cut trees no closer than 100 feet from trails and roads.

Avoid campgrounds, timber sale areas, and private property. Know the boundaries.

Attach the permit to your tree

A rope, strap, or sled can be helpful for a smooth and non-damaging transport.

Cut the whole tree, not just the top. Use what you do not need for decorative greens

Clean up the cutting site. Prune branches into small sections and spread out.

You can cut your tree up until December 31st.

Cutting Holiday trees is fun but often done in remote and off-road areas. Not all these areas have Cell phone Service. Make sure that you have proper gear and clothing. Dragging the trees will remove needles and damage branches. Select a manageable tree that you can carry.

Charlie Brown trees are abundant! To each their own. Make the day fun and safe. Anticipate getting stuck, cut, or… Better to be prepared than sorry.

Branch out and enjoy! We all need it!

Montana Grant

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