Christmas Tree Gathering
Download our Christmas Tree cutting brochure
Fees and Season Dates
- Saturday, November 15, 2022 to December 31, 2022
- $10 per tree
- Free for 4th graders who have an Every Kid Outdoors voucher or pass.
- Vouchers can be obtained from everykidoutdoors.gov.
- Where to purchase permits
- Online at www.recreation.gov – search for Klamath National Forest Christmas Tree Permit
- Maximum of 5 trees.
Where to Cut Your Tree
- Please respect privately owned property. Make sure the tree you cut is on Klamath National Forest lands and is outside of designated Wilderness, Botanical Areas, or Geologic Areas.
- Maps of the tree cutting areas can be found on www.recreation.gov.
- Digital maps for mobile devices or more detailed color maps of the Forest are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/klamath/maps-pubs
- Here are popular places to find a tree:
- Deer Mountain - elevation 6, 000 ft.: on the Forest’s east side one hour from Yreka. The area is off Forest Road 19, which is regularly plowed up to the Deer Mountain Snowmobile Park. Tree types: White fir & Red fir (on Picadilly Ridge).
- Willow Creek Mountain - elevation 6,200 ft.: on the Forest’s East side a half-hour from Macdoel, west of Martin’s Dairy Campground. Tree types: White fir & Red fir.
- Deadwood Creek - elevation 3,600 ft.: half-hour west of Yreka off Forest Road 45N49. Tree types: Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine and Incense cedar.
- Carter Meadows Summit - elevation 6,000 ft: 15-minutes from Callahan. We recommend areas north of County Rd. 1C02 in the summit area because the River Complex Fire burned in areas south of the road. Tree types: Red fir near the summit; White fir, Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, and Incense cedar near Carter Meadows.
- Etna Summit – elevation 6,000 ft: 15-minutes from Etna off County Rd. 1C01 (Sawyer’s Bar Rd.). Tree types: Red fire and White fir.
- Mt. Ashland area – elevation above 5,000 ft: 45-minutes north of Yreka off Mt. Ashland Ski Road.
How to Plan 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/on your vehicle where you will be transporting the tree.
- Cell service may be spotty or unavailable. Be sure someone knows where you are going and when to expect you back.
- Check the latest weather conditions, Forest Alerts, and road closures before you leave on your trip. https://www.fs.usda.gov/klamath/
- Bring a map with you. Don’t rely on GPS because it may not be up to date on Forest Service roads.
- Let someone know where you are going and your estimated return time.
- Roads may not be plowed. Carry tire chains, shovel(s) and a tow chain. Be sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas.
- Tools to bring: measuring tape to 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.
- Fuel up your vehicle.
- Dress warmly and take extra dry clothes. Expect winter weather, including cold temperatures, snow, and winds.
- Bring plenty of food and water with you as well as a first aid kit and an overnight survival kit in case you become stranded.
- 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.
- Start your day early. Be sure to find your tree and leave the woods before dark.
- Please keep your pets on a leash at all times.
Selecting Your Tree
- Tree cutting is not permitted…
- In Botanical Special Interest Areas,
- In Geologic Special Interest Areas,
- On any recreation or administrative site (such as a campground),
- Within 300 feet of flowing streams, or
- 150 feet of dry creek-beds.
- The forest has five trees that are popular for Christmas trees—Red fire, White fir, Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, and Incense cedar.
- Do not cut isolated trees growing in the open.
- Choose a tree from a dense forested area, which will give the remaining trees more space to grow.
- Select a tree with needles that do not pull easily from its branches or break when gently bent.
Helpful Cutting Tips
- Do not cut trees over 4 inches in diameter.
- Remove snow from around the stump so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height. Cut as close to the ground as practical, leaving a flat stump no more than 12 inches high from the ground. Cut the leftover branches from the stump and scatter them.
- Do not cut tree trunk at an angle. This leaves a sharp, pointed stump that becomes a safety hazard.
- Take the whole tree. Do not remove only the top of the tree.