Christmas Tree Cutting and Care Guidelines

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/BLM policy allows three permits (1 tree each) per family. Permits are available at any Lolo National Forest District Office or BLM office for $ 5.00.

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.