Christmas Tree Permits

Visitors can purchase a permit online to cut their own Christmas tree on the Carson National Forest through 

The Carson National Forest has a limit of three permits per household.‚Äč The prices for the nonrefundable Christmas tree permits are: 

  • 10 feet and under – $5 per tree 

  • 10 feet to 15 feet  –  $10 per tree

  • 16 feet to 20 feet   – $15 per tree

Options to Purchase A Christmas Tree Permit

Online Through

Computer icon with Christmas Tree Tag

Online customers can print their permit, place it on the dashboard of their vehicle and head into the woods. Permits purchased online through will include an additional service fee and require a account to complete the transaction. Check out the need-to-know information about cutting your own tree and tips for planning your adventure!

Buy Christmas Tree Permits Online 

By Phone & Delivered Through Postal Mail

Phone icon with Christmas Tree Tag

Christmas tree permits can also be purchased over the phone starting on Nov. 9 by calling any of the Carson National Forest district offices. Permits purchased by phone will be delivered via postal mail along with guidelines for harvesting a tree. 

Contact Us

Every Kid Outdoors Permits 

As part of the “Every Kid Outdoors” initiative, every fourth grader is eligible for a free holiday tree permit with a valid Every Kid Outdoors pass, downloadable at The student’s unique pass code is required to receive a free permit. Fourth graders can apply for their free permit through the online system by selecting the option and entering the code on their pass when prompted. 

Know Before You Go 

Where to Cut Your Tree 

  • Do not cut on private land, in wilderness areas, designated campgrounds, or existing tree plantations. 

  • Do not cut in active timber sales or areas that have been planted with new trees. 

  • Do not cut trees within 300 feet of any campground, trail, stream, river, paved roads and State Highways.

  • Do not cut within those areas shown on the downloadable map as closed to Christmas tree cutting. 

Selecting Your Tree

  • Each forest has limitations on the size of the tree you can cut and the species of trees that are permitted. See below to help you measure and choose a tree that meets your permit's guidelines. 

  • 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. 

  • Do not cut or transplant Bristlecone Pine.

  • Stump height: 6 inches maximum

  • Take the whole tree. Do not remove the top of the tree; cut down the entire tree. 

Planning Your Trip 

  • Before you leave home, be sure to measure the space where you plan to place the tree in your home (height and width), and measure the space in your vehicle where you will be transporting the tree.

  • Cell service may be spotty or unavailable. Be sure someone knows where you are and when to expect you back.

  • Check the latest weather conditions, forest warnings and road closures before you leave on your trip.

  • Bring a map with you. Don’t rely on GPS because it may not be up-to-date with forest service roads.

  • Dress warmly and take extra dry clothes. Expect winter weather, including cold temperatures, snow and winds.

  • Roads may not be plowed. Carry tire chains, shovel(s) and a tow chain. Be sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas. Bring a spare key and give it to someone else in your party. Don’t get locked out of your car! Park in areas so that traffic can get by safely, and do not block gates.

  • Bring plenty of food and water with you as well as an overnight survival kit in case you become stranded. Start your day early. Be sure to find your tree and leave the woods before dark.

  • We don't recommend bringing your pets but, if you do, they must be on a leash.

Helpful Cutting Tips 

  • Carry your tree carefully out of the woods. Dragging the tree will rub off needles and bark. 

  • If the tree is too big to transport inside of your vehicle, wrap it in canvas to prevent wind damage. 

  • Once home, cut the bottom of the trunk off and place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket of water. Replenish water. 

  • If storing your tree outside for a few days before putting it in the house, keep it in an area protected from the wind, such as the north or east side of your house or under a shaded tree.

  • Tools you might want to consider bringing with you include a measuring tape to ensure you select a tree that fits in your home; handsaw to cut your tree; gloves to protect your hands; boots to protect your feet; a tarp to sit on and/or to move your tree once it's cut; and rope or straps to secure your tree to your vehicle.

  • Choose a tree from a dense forested area, which will give the remaining trees more space to grow.

  • Cut the leftover branches from the stump and scatter them.