Christmas Tree Cutting and Care Guidelines

Christmas Tree Permits are now available for sale at Lolo National Forest Offices2019 Christmas Tree Permits

Christmas Tree permits are available at all Lolo National Forest offices for $5 per tree with a limit of 3 permits household. Cash and personal check are accepted at all offices, with credit cards accepted at Missoula and Ninemile Ranger Stations only. In addition, a number of vendors are selling permits (see below).

New this season! The Missoula Ranger District and Lolo National Forest Supervisor’s Office will be offering over-the-phone permit orders this year. Permits purchased over the phone will be mailed to the specified address within 1-3 business days. The pay over the phone service will be offered Nov. 11 – December 13. Please call 406-329-3894 for all phone orders.

Free Christmas Tree Permits to 4th Graders!

The Lolo National Forest is pleased to support the Every Kid Outdoors Program and provide FREE Christmas tree permits to all fourth graders! As part of the ‘Every Kid Outdoors’ (formerly Every Kid in the Park) national initiative which strives to connect youth with nature, the Lolo National Forest is offering one free Christmas tree permit to every fourth grader. To participate in the free holiday tree program visit Fourth graders must present a valid EKO Pass or paper voucher at their local Forest Service office (not vendors) to receive their free permit.

2019 Christmas Tree Permit Vendors

  • Cabela’s, 3650 Brooks St, Missoula, MT 59801
  • Murdoch’s, 2801 W Broadway St, Missoula, MT 59808
  • Bob Ward’s, 3015 Paxson St, Missoula, MT 59801
  • Bronc’s Grocery, 16640 Beckwith St, Frenchtown, MT 59834
  • Clinton Market, 20500 Old Hwy 10, Clinton, MT 59825
  • Conoco Feed & Fuel, 1201 Main St, Thompson Falls, MT 59873

Cutting your Tree

Anyone who has obtained a permit can cut a Christmas tree anywhere on National Forest or BLM lands as long as it's not in the Wilderness or National Recreation Areas, Developed Recreation Sites, and within 150 feet of a body of water. Lolo National Forest allows three permits per household. Permits are available at any Lolo National Forest District Office or BLM office for $5.

The permit is to be attached to the tree for transportation from the cutting site to your home.

Your Tree Needs Special Care

  • Use a stand with a water reservoir and keep it full. A flat, even cut is best for water absorption.
  • Mist your tree with water.
  • Inspect all tree light cords for safety. A dry tree can burn in only 15 seconds. Use caution with fire near your tree. Locate it away from heat registers, fireplaces & stoves.

You can benefit a stand of growing trees by following these guidelines.

  • Cut Christmas Trees to thin overcrowded stands. This reduces the competition among trees for sunlight and soil nutrients. Leave the healthiest trees.
  • Don't cut in plantations. These are recognized by the uniform height and spacing of the trees.
  • Take trees ONLY off National Forest and BLM lands. Specific ownership maps may be purchased from National Forest and BLM offices.
  • Leave less than a 5" stump. Chop up and scatter the branches you leave behind to decompose. Check at National Forest and BLM offices for recycle locations for your tree.
  • Select a tree under12 feet in height.