Christmas Tree Cutting

Christmas Tree Cutting InfoAs you search for that special Christmas tree, please follow the guidelines listed below.

Corte De Arboles De Navidad -- En Espanol 

If you have any questions, please contact any of our Forest Service offices.

You will need a $5 Christmas tree permit to remove a tree from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Permits are available at all Forest Service offices and various businesses in Okanogan, Chelan, Kittitas, and Yakima Counties. Permits are not refundable.

Maximum tree size is 15 feet.

The tree may be cut, or dug up and removed as a transplant. The ground starts freezing as early as November. Please fill in the hole created when digging up a live tree.

Please remove the entire tree, not just the top. Leave no more than a 6-inch stump.

If there are any live limbs still attached to stump after tree is felled, cut them from the stump.

When at a trailhead requiring a fee, you will need to display a Northwest Forest Pass on dashboard of vehicle. This can be purchased at any Forest Service office.

Christmas tree permits do not allow you to park in a Sno-Park. If you park in a Sno-Park you must have a valid Washington State Sno-Park permit displayed in your vehicle.

When choosing a Christmas tree, try to pick a tree from among a group of trees so one area does not become void of trees.

The Christmas tree permit system is not meant to be a replacement for our special forest product transplant program. That program is separate with its own guidelines. The Christmas tree program is just that, a program set up for families to cut their own Christmas tree.

When you cut your tree, remember to punch out the month, day, and year on the permit tag. Tags may not be re-used. Attach the Christmas tree tag where it is clearly visible on the tree. It should be attached before the tree is removed from the site.

 Christmas Tree permit example 


Each permit is for one Christmas tree. Only two permits issued per family.

The information on this page is also available as a 2-page PDF or in Spanish

Local Vendors Selling Christmas Tree Permits
[at bottom of page]

Video of Tips for Successful Christmas Tree Hunting

Maps of areas near Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Chelan where Christmas trees can be cut

Christmas trees can only be cut in the National Forest -- green-shaded areas on maps. Click maps for larger version.

Christmas Tree Cutting map- near Wenatchee. Click for larger version.
Wenatchee area
Christmas Tree Cutting map- near Leavenworth. Click for larger version.
Leavenworth area

Christmas Tree Cutting map- near Chelan. Click for larger version.

Chelan area

Areas where trees cannot be cut:

Within congressionally designated Wilderness Areas.
Within Fire Closure Areas. Contact local Forest Service offices for information on specific closure areas.
Within 200 feet of the following roads:
  • Naches District—along State Highway 410, U.S. Highway 12, and Forest Service Roads #1200, #1800, and #1900
  • Entiat District—along the Entiat Valley Road
  • Cle Elum District—along I-90 and I-97
  • Methow Valley District—along State Highway 20 over Loup Loup Pass between Twisp and Okanogan. Along Harts Pass road #5400. Along North Cascades Scenic Highway between east and west scenic highway portal signs (including all side roads).
Within 150 feet of any stream, lake, pond, or wetland area.
In active timber sale areas.
On privately owned and state managed land within the National Forest boundary.
In tree plantations, campgrounds, administrative sites, or other areas where specifically posted.

Tree Care and Transportation:

If a tree is obtained early in the season, it should be kept in a cool place, out of the wind, in a bucket of water. Remember, a tree that is dry is an extreme fire hazard.

Carry the tree carefully out of the woods. If the tree will not fit in the vehicle, wrap it in a tarp to prevent windburn and needle loss during transportation.

When you get your tree home, make a fresh cut on the butt to open up the pores which have been clogged by sap. Cut off at least one-half inch. If you do not make a fresh cut, the tree will not be able to drink water. After the cut is made, put the tree in water as soon as possible. An average tree may consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day.

Avoid placing the tree next to fireplaces, heaters, television sets, or other heat sources.

Forest road conditions can change rapidly this time of year. For current information, please contact the local Ranger District office. District personnel may also be able to help you find the type of tree you would like to take home for the holidays.

Be sure to properly dispose of your cut tree after the holidays. Most waste disposal companies offer special pick up times. Never try to burn the tree in your fireplace or woodstove; a chimney fire could result.


The employees of the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests wish you a happy holiday season and hope that your Christmas tree will be a valued addition to your family’s enjoyment.

Local Forest Service Office Contact Information

Where to Purchase a Christmas Tree Permit

As the holiday season approaches, the Forest Service is once again offering an opportunity for families to obtain a Christmas tree from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Christmas tree permits are on sale for $5 each at all ranger stations and the forest headquarters in Wenatchee. The $5 permit allows a family to cut a tree or dig a live transplant tree. Permits may be purchased in person or by mail.

For those who can't make it into any of our offices during daily business hours many local businesses are also selling Christmas tree permits.

Local Vendors Selling Christmas Tree Permits


  • Hooked on Toys, 1444 N. Wenatchee Ave, (509) 663-0740
  • Arlberg Sports, 25 N. Wenatchee Ave, (509) 663-7401
  • Chelan Shell Foodmart, 301 E. Woodin Avenue, (509) 682-5012.

Lake Wenatchee / Plain

  • Parkside Grocery, 21325 Hwy 207, (509) 763-3266
  • Midway Village, 14193 Chiwawa Loop Road, (509) 763-3344
  • Plain Home & Hardware, 18636 Beaver Valley Road, (509) 763-3836


  • Dan's Food Market, 1329 Hwy. 2, (509) 548-5611
  • 76 Gas Station, 585 Hwy. 2,  (509) 548-9801
  • Icicle Quik Stop, 76 Gas Station, 920 Highway 2,  (509) 548-7714


  • Entiat Food Center, 2038 Entiat Way, (509) 784-1415
  • Cooper’s Store, 8855 Entiat River Road, (509) 784-2267

Cle Elum

  • Cle Elum Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, 312 W 1st, 888-925-2204 
  • Pioneer Coffee, 121 Pennsylvania, (509) 674-4100
  • Intermountain Radio Shack, 208 East 1st, (509) 674-5859
  • Sportland Minimart Shell, 4400 Bullfrog Rd, (509) 649-2260
  • Mac A Bee Gifts of the Southwest, 71 Airport Road, (509) 674-7055
  • Teanaway Outpost, near Milepost 6 on Teanaway Road,  (509) 674-3782


  • Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce, 609 N. Main Street, (509) 925-2002


  • Naches Chinook Center, 10450 U.S. Highway 12, (509) 653-1201
  • Oak Creek Ace Hardware, 10400 U.S. Highway 12, (509) 653-1294
  • Slim's Market, 9951 U.S. Highway 12, (509) 653-2268

Chinook Pass 

  • Eagle Rock Resort, 8590 State Route 410, (509) 658-2905
  • Whistlin’ Jack Lodge, 20780 State Route 410, (509) 658-2433

White Pass 

  • Rimrock Grocery Store, 34090 U.S. Highway 12, (509) 672-2251
    Note: starting week of November 16, permits will only be available on weekends through Christmas.


Starting November 22:

  • Bi-Mart Store, 1207 North 40th Avenue, (509) 457-1650
  • Bi-Mart Store, 309 South 5th Avenue, (509) 457-5175


  • Helms True Value Hardware, 475 North Wenas Road, (509) 697-8222
  • Selah Save-On Foods, 800 North Park Center, (509) 697-6184


  • Bi-Mart Store, 110 West South Hill Road, (509) 839-0781

Tonasket Area

  • General Store, Conconully, 201 N. Main Street, (509) 826-3374
  • Junction Mini-mart, Tonasket, 509 S. Whitcomb,  (509) 486-1800
  • Prince’s Center, 1000 23rd Ave., Oroville,  (509) 476-3651

Methow Valley

  • Chevron gas station, Twisp, (509) 997-3181
  • Hank’s Market, Twisp, (509) 997-7711
  • Hank’s Mini Market, Twisp, (509) 997-7712 
  • Pardners Mini Market, Winthrop, (509) 996-2005
  • Winthrop Mountain Sports, Winthrop, (509) 996-2886
  • Goats Beard Mtn. Supply, Mazama, (509) 996-2515

When venturing out into the cold and snowy hills in pursuit of a Christmas tree, please follow the tips listed below for a safe trip:

  1. Before leaving home, notify a friend or family member where you will be going and when you will return. Then, stick to your plan and let your contact person know when you have returned.
  2. Consider carefully your clothing and equipment needs, making certain they are adequate for the worst conditions you might encounter.
  3. ALWAYS check out the avalanche hazard before leaving home.
  4. Be familiar with the area that you plan to visit.
  5. Carry extra clothing, food, and tools in your vehicle for those unexpected mishaps that may occur.

High clearance 4-wheel driver vehicles are recommended for driving on national forest roads during the winter months. Remember to leave early in the day to allow for maximum daylight. Also, be prepared for all types of weather.

For more information regarding Christmas tree permits, areas to cut in, and travel on forest roads, please contact any Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest office.

The information on this page is also available as a 2-page PDF or in Spanish