Christmas Tree Permits

ABOUT PERMITS

  • Forest Service tree permits are $8.00 each and can be obtained at Recreation.gov
  • One tree per permit.
  • Limit 5 permits per household.
  • For personal use only - not for resale.
  • All sales final and non-refundable.

FOURTH GRADERS!  You can get a free holiday tree as part of the Every Kid Outdoors program. Go to the website https://everykidoutdoors.gov complete the voucher and bring the voucher or the durable pass to a Forest Service office or use it at Recreation.gov (not a vendor) to receive one holiday tree permit free-of-charge!

PERMIT SALE DATES and CUTTING DATES: 2021 Permit sales start on October 14 and will end December 31 (4:30 PM). Online permits will be available beginning October 14 - December 31, 2021. Over the counter permits will be available November 9 - December 31, 2021. Some GMUG offices and vendors may offer over the counter Christmas tree permits prior to November 9. Please call your local ranger district for current permit availability. Offices are closed on observed Holidays (For 2021: Veterans's Day on November 9, Thanksgiving on November 25 and Christmas on December 25).

PERMIT EXPIRATION DATE: Permits expire at midnight December 31.

WHERE TO GET YOUR PERMIT: Learn where you can obtain a permit.

TREE SPECIES: Subalpine fir, Engelmann spruce, lodgepole pine, Pinyon pine, Juniper, Bristlecone pine, Douglas-fir, Ponderosa pine.-local restrictions may apply - ask at local district offices. (Tree Species Identification Guide)

CUTTING REGULATIONS: 

  • Tree height maximum is 20 feet.
  • Tree may not be greater than 6 inches in diameter at the base of the tree and the stump height should be no greater than 6 inches high.
  • Topping of trees is not allowed (i.e. cutting the top of tree and leaving the lower portion with limbs attached).
  • Tag tree(s) before leaving the cutting area - wrap tag around a large sturdy lower limb or tree trunk – each tag  has adhesive on backside to ensure firm grip.
  • Permits must be clearly visible on trees when transporting by vehicle.

AREA REGULATIONS:

  • Cutting is permitted only on the federal lands for which the permit is issued.
  • Respect private property rights and watch for no trespassing signs – know where you are before you cut.
  • CUTTING PROHIBITED – Within administrative sites, picnic areas, campgrounds, trailheads, scenic pullouts, tree plantations, timber sales, Wilderness areas, within and/or adjacent to cross country ski areas, along Forest trails and/or downhill ski areas, other areas signed or mapped as “closed to cutting” or on other areas specific to each ranger district. Ask before you go for any additional restricted areas.
  • Pack out your trash.

 TRAVEL REGULATIONS:

  • All Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest Travel Plan Management Restrictions apply - obtain MVUM maps at Forest Service Offices listed below.
  • Keep motorized vehicles on designated routes that are open to the mode of vehicle you are using.
  • Do not drive on designated and groomed snowmobile trails - designated routes are closed when there is sufficient snow to maintain trail grooming with snow equipment.
  • Park in locations, away from the road right-of-way and where you can safely park and access to search for a tree.
  • Watch for logging truck traffic on plowed forest roads.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Check for local weather and travel advisory information.
  • Four-wheel drive vehicle or chains.
  • Full tank of gas.
  • Handsaw, axe, shovel for digging snow.
  • Tarp, rope or tie-downs.
  • Dress appropriately for winter weather.
  • Sled, snowshoes are advisable at higher elevations.
  • First-aid kit, food, extra water, blanket, warm liquids.
  • Follow all Leave No Trace principles.
  • Be cautious/avoid areas with dead/dying trees that may fall without warning while cutting Christmas trees.

Locations To Obtain Permits

Online: 

Christmas tree permits for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are available seasonally to purchase online at Recreation.gov. Details about designated cutting areas, cutting dates and types of trees that may be cut can be found here https://www.recreation.gov/tree-permits/gmug.

 

Ranger District Offices:

GRAND JUNCTION
Grand Valley Ranger District
1010 Kimball Avenue (970) 242-8211
Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM, excluding holidays. 
 
GUNNISON
Gunnison Ranger District
216 N Colorado (970) 641-0471
Offering walk up window service Monday through Friday 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM, excluding holidays
 
MONTROSE
Montrose Public Land Office (Ouray Ranger Disitrict)
2465 S. Townsend Ave. (970) 240-5300
Monday through Friday 8 AM to 4:30 PM, excluding holidays (BLM and USFS tree permits)
 
NORWOOD
Norwood Ranger District
1150 Forest (970) 327-4261 
In-person sales are available Tuesday and Thursdays from 1 pm-5 pm, excluding holidays.
 
PAONIA
Paonia Ranger District
403 North Rio Grande Avenue, (970) 527-4131
Offering walk up window service Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 5 PM, excluding holidays.

 

From a Vendor:

Please call vendors to be sure permits are still available, and check on business hours which may vary.

The Fort Uncompahgre, 10 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday 
440 N Palmer Drive, Delta, CO  
970-874-8349

Valley Ranch Supply - Monday thru Friday 6 AM to 6 PM; Saturday 7 AM to 3 PM; Sunday 8 AM to 2 PM; Christmas Eve 6AM to 4PM; Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
57454 Highway 330, Collbran, CO
970-487-3000

Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply - Monday thru Saturday 7:30 AM to 7 PM; Christmas Eve 7:30 AM to 4 PM; Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Sunday 9 AM to 6 PM;
3217-I-70 Business Loop, Clifton, CO
970-523-7515

Desperado General Store - Monday-Saturday 7 AM-6 PM; Sunday 8 AM-6 PM
40486 D Lane, Crawford, CO
970-921-5655

Paonia Flower Shop - Monday-Friday 8:30 AM-5 PM; Saturday 9:30 AM-2 PM
301 Grand Ave, Paonia, CO
970-527-4664

Gambles Ace Hardware – Monday-Friday 7:30 AM-5 PM; Saturday 8 AM-5 PM; Sunday 9 AM-4 PM
121 Bridge Street Hotchkiss, CO
970-872-3535

Grand Mesa Lodge - 7 days a week, 8 AM-6 PM; Open on Holidays.
25861 Highway 65, Cedaredge, CO
970-856-3250

Grand Mesa Outdoors – Monday-Saturday 9 AM-5 PM
105 W Main Street, Cedaredge, CO
970-856-9956

Odin Gear Depot - 9:30 AM to 4 PM Wednesday through Friday; 9 AM to 4:30 PM Saturday and Sunday; Open on Holidays.
10964 Highway 65; Mesa, CO
970-618-7062

 

The Christmas Tree program is a Recreation Enhancement Act project. Funds collected are retained on the Forest for management of the Christmas Tree program.



photo of a man dragging tree out of forest

Getting your tree out of the forest can be good exercise!


photo of people next to cut tree

All set and ready to go- dont forget to attach the permit!


photo of couple with dogs and tree

Memories are made with the tradition of visiting the forest for a Christmas tree.

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gmug/passes-permits/forestproducts/?cid=stelprdb5345974