Christmas Tree Permits

Please display your permit on the dashboard of your vehicle when you go out to harvest the tree(s). Permits are good for all National Forests in Montana. Please observe the regulations and guidelines below; it is your responsibility to know where you can and cannot harvest National Forest Christmas trees.

Online

Two people walking through a field of snow carrying a freshly cut christmas treeChristmas Tree Permits can now be obtained at Recreation.gov. It is important to carefully read the overview and need-to-know information prior to purchasing the permit. Permits are free in 2021, but a transaction fee of $2.50 is charged on-line.

From a Forest Service Office or Local Business

In 2021 free permits will be available outside of Ranger District offices for pick-up. 

Free Christmas Tree Permits to 4th Graders!

Every Kid Outdoors Pass which is available to 4th GradersThe 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 www.everykidoutdoors.gov to obtain a voucher and then visit Recreation.gov for the permit! 

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 tree plantations. These are recognized by the uniform height and spacing of the trees.
  • Do not cut trees within developed recreation areas, campgrounds or the following areas: Blue Mountain Recreation Area or the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area.
  • Take trees ONLY off National Forest 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 offices for recycle locations for your tree.
  • Select a tree under 12 feet in height.
  • DO NOT CUT THE TOPS OFF TREES.