Christmas Tree Permits

Christmas Tree Permits

Status: Permits available on November 18th through December 27th unless they are all sold. 

Since the early 1500’s, trees have been the center of holiday activities for many people. Begin the holiday season with an outing to cut the family tree on the Eldorado National Forest. Christmas Tree Permits are being offered to the public in an effort to help reduce hazardous fuel ladders that have built up over years of fire suppression. Removal of excessive amounts of small trees from the forest will help create a healthier forest over time.

Cost: $10 each tag (cash only). Limit of 2 tags per permit/person/household. Permittee must be present to purchase the permit. Photo ID required. 4th graders with a valid Every Kid Outdoors Voucher or Pass are entitled to 1 free Tag. To obtain a voucher

Where to Purchase: The Forest Supervisor's Office and all Ranger Districts that sell christmas tree permits are open Monday to Friday. Although the office is open from 8 am to 4:30 pm, christmas tree permit sales will end at 4 pm in order to complete the permit processing for the day. Note which offices are open on Saturdays.

  • Forest Supervisor's office - 100 Forni Road, Placerville, Calif. 
    Monday - Saturday from November 18 through December 7. After the 8th the office is open Monday - Friday until May.
  • Amador Ranger District - 26820 Silver Drive, Pioneer, Calif. 
  •  Monday - Saturday from November 18 through December 7. After the 7th the office is open Monday - Friday until May.
  • Georgetown Ranger District - 7600 Wentworth Springs Road, Georgetown, Calif. 
    Monday - Saturday from November 18 through December 7. After the 7th the office is open Monday - Friday until May.
  • Placerville Ranger District - 4260 Eight Mile Road, Camino, Calif.
    Monday - Fridays only.

Size: A maximum trunk diameter of 6 inches at the base of the tree and tree height of 20 feet.

Tree Species: Pine, cedar, or fir. Do not cut any hardwood; such as, aspen or oak.

When: Tags will be issued from November 18 until the tags are sold out or until noon on December 27. Cutting under these permits will be allowed until December 31 to accommodate military families and others who may need to celebrate a delayed Christmas.

Permits: Non-transferable. All sales are final = No Refunds. Permit must be in possession when cutting and transporting tree (s).


  • Motorized vehicles are only allowed on existing roads that are open to the public, except where snowmobiles are allowed. No cross country travel. Maps are provided at the time of permit purchase.
  • Permit holders should follow permit guidelines for responsible collection, including not trespassing on private property when entering or leaving national forest cutting areas.
  • Observe seasonal road closures and be prepared to hike to the cutting area to find a tree. 
  • Park in legal areas and do not block gates.

Good Stewardship:

  • Scatter all discarded branches away from roads, ditches, and culverts.
  • Cut your tree as close to the ground as possible.  Stump should be 6 inches or less. Select a tree that is the right height for your needs do NOT cut a tall tree just to take the top. 
  • As the purpose is to thin the understory of our forest, choose a tree within 10 feet of another green tree.

Safety Tips:

  • It is important to remember that weather conditions in the mountains are unpredictable and travel during winter storm weather can be dangerous due to wet and/or icy roads. In addition, winds may cause branches or trees to fall. Visitors should avoid cutting on wet, windy days.
  • Check the weather before heading out and tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Dress appropriately for cold weather conditions and be prepared for ice and snow.
  • Carry tire chains and a shovel and bring emergency supplies, including water, food, extra blankets and a first-aid kit.
  • Keep in mind, mobile devices may not work in some areas.
  • Develop an emergency plan in case you cannot call for help.

Every Kid Outdoors - Free Tree for 4th Graders

In support of Every Kid Outdoors, established under presidential proclamation, the Forest Service will offer one free Christmas tree permit to fourth-grade students who present a valid paper voucher or durable Every Kid Outdoors pass. 

“The Every Kid Outdoors initiative encourages fourth-graders and their families to get out and enjoy their public lands,” said Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree.  “By providing students and their families an opportunity to go out and cut a free Christmas tree on National Forest System land,  we hope to inspire a lasting commitment to caring for and preserving these lands.”

 To obtain the free Christmas tree permit, fourth-grade students must obtain the paper voucher online, present the printed voucher in person along with their parent or guardian to a Forest Service office and participate in the cutting of the Christmas tree.  To obtain the paper voucher and to learn more about the Every Kid Outdoors program, visit

Local Tree Farms

There are over 30 local Christmas Tree farms in the area. Many of these also provide food, crafts, activities, and a chance to visit with Santa Claus. Look for more information on Local Christmas Tree farms at

Other National Forests 

The National Forests listed below issue Christmas Tree cutting permits. 

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit - (530) 543-2600 - South Lake Tahoe
Klamath - (530) 842- 6131 - Supervisor's Office, Yreka
Lassen - (530) 257 - 2151 - Supervisor's Office, Susanville
Mendocino - (530) 934 - 3316 - Supervisor's Office, Willows
Modoc - (530) 233 - 5811 - Supervisor's Office, Alturas
Plumas - (530) 283 - 2050 Supervisor's Office, Quincy
Shasta-Trinity - (530) 244 - 2978 - Supervisor's Office, Redding
Six Rivers - (707) 442 - 1721 Supervisor's Office, Eureka
Humboldt-Toiyabe - (760) 932 - 7070 Bridgeport Ranger District, Bridgeport