Christmas Tree Cutting
Before you search for that special Christmas tree, please follow the guidelines listed below.
Corte De Arboles De Navidad -- En Espanol
You will need a $5 Christmas tree permit to remove a tree from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Permits can be purchased at numerous businesses in Okanogan, Chelan, Kittitas, and Yakima Counties. Permits can also be purchased Online. See links below. Permits are not refundable.
It's now easier to obtain a permit to cut Christmas trees from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Permits can be purchased online through Recreation.gov. Permits purchased online will have to be printed to be valid. This program allows people to purchase Christmas tree permits online instead of traveling to a Forest Service office or local vendor. Learn more about purchasing a permit and gathering a Christmas tree at recreation.gov/tree-permits/okawen
Christmas Tree Permits available at these Forest Service Offices
Local Vendors Selling Christmas Tree Permits [at bottom of page]
Free Christmas Tree Permits are available to all Fourth Graders with an Every Kid Outdoors Pass or voucher. Pass holders may receive a free Christmas tree permit by presenting an Every Kid Outdoors Pass or valid paper voucher printed from the Every Kid Outdoors website: everykidoutdoors.gov
Maximum tree size is 15 feet.
The tree may be cut, or dug up and removed as a transplant. The ground starts freezing as early as November. Please fill in the hole created when digging up a live tree.
Please remove the entire tree, not just the top. Leave no more than a 6-inch stump.
If there are any live limbs still attached to stump after tree is felled, cut them from the stump.
When at a trailhead requiring a fee, you will need to display a Northwest Forest Pass on dashboard of vehicle. This can be purchased from any Forest Service office.
Do not park at a Sno-Park unless you have a valid Washington State Sno-Park permit displayed in your vehicle.
When choosing a Christmas tree, try to pick a tree from among a group of trees so one area does not become void of trees.
The Christmas tree permit system is not meant to be a replacement for our special forest product transplant program. That program is separate with its own guidelines. The Christmas tree program is just that, a program set up for families to cut their own Christmas tree.
When you cut your tree, peel and attach the Christmas tree permit sticker by wrapping around tree trunk between limbs where it is clearly visible while in transit. Tags may not be re-used.
Each permit is for one Christmas tree. Only two permits issued per family.
Local Vendors Selling Christmas Tree Permits
[at bottom of page]
Videos of Tips for Successful Christmas Tree Hunting
Areas where Christmas trees can be cut
Christmas trees can only be cut in the National Forest -- light green shaded areas on Interactive Forest Map
Local Maps of where Christmas Trees can be cut are available at links below:
- Wenatchee Area -- PDF or JPG
- Chelan Area -- PDF or JPG
- Entiat Area -- PDF or JPG
- Leavenworth Area -- PDF or JPG
- Cle Elum Area --
North PDF or JPG, South PDF or JPG, East PDF or JPG, West PDF or JPG
Areas where trees cannot be cut:
Within congressionally designated Wilderness Areas (dark green shaded areas on Interactive Forest Map )
Within Fire Closure Areas. Contact local Forest Service offices for information on specific closure areas.
Within 200 feet of the following roads:
- Naches District—along Highway 410, Highway 12, and Forest Service Roads #1200, #1800, and #1900
- Entiat District—along the Entiat Valley Road
- Cle Elum District—along I-90 and Highway 97
- Methow Valley District—along Highway 20 over Loup Loup Pass between Twisp and Okanogan. Along Harts Pass road #5400. Along North Cascades Scenic Highway between east and west scenic highway portal signs (including all side roads).
Within 150 feet of any stream, lake, pond, or wetland area.
In active timber sale areas.
On privately owned and state managed land within the National Forest boundary.
In tree plantations, campgrounds, administrative sites, or other areas where specifically posted.
Tree Care and Transportation:
If a tree is obtained early in the season, it should be kept in a cool place, out of the wind, in a bucket of water. Remember, a tree that is dry is an extreme fire hazard.
Carry the tree carefully out of the woods. If the tree will not fit in the vehicle, wrap it in a tarp to prevent windburn and needle loss during transportation.
When you get your tree home, make a fresh cut on the butt to open up the pores which have been clogged by sap. Cut off at least one-half inch. If you do not make a fresh cut, the tree will not be able to drink water. After the cut is made, put the tree in water as soon as possible. An average tree may consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day.
Avoid placing the tree next to fireplaces, heaters, television sets, or other heat sources.
Forest road conditions can change rapidly this time of year. For current information, please contact the local Ranger District office. District personnel may also be able to help you find the type of tree you would like to take home for the holidays.
Be sure to properly dispose of your cut tree after the holidays. Most waste disposal companies offer special pick up times. Never try to burn the tree in your fireplace or woodstove; a chimney fire could result.
Local Forest Service Office Contact Information
Where to Purchase a Christmas Tree Permit
As the holiday season approaches, the Forest Service is once again offering an opportunity for families to obtain a Christmas tree from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
Christmas tree permits are on sale for $5 each. The $5 permit allows a family to cut a tree or dig a live transplant tree.
Our offices are closed due to pandemic. However, some offices are selling permits over the phone and arranging for outside pickup. An easier option is to visit one of the many local businesses that are also selling Christmas tree permits, or purchase Online.
Local Vendors Selling Christmas Tree Permits
Cle Elum / Roslyn area
- Cle Elum Visitors Center, 312 West First Street, Cle Elum, phone 509-674-6880
- Mac-A-Bee Gifts of the Southwest, 1401 Airport Road, Cle Elum, 509-674-7055
- Pioneer Coffee Company, 121 N Pennsylvania Ave, Cle Elum, phone 509-674-4100
- Sportland Shell Mini Mart, Hwy 903 between Cle Elum & Roslyn, phone 509-649-2260
- Basecamp Books and Bites, 110 W Pennsylvania Ave, Roslyn, phone 509-649-3821
- Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce, 609 North Main Street, Ellensburg, phone 509-925-2002 or 888-925-2204
Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee areas
- Dan’s Market, 1329 Hwy 2 in Leavenworth, phone 509-548-5611
- Icicle Quick Stop, 585 Hwy 2 in Leavenworth, phone 509-548-9601
- Plain Hardware, 18636 Beaver Valley Road, Plain, phone 509-763-3836
- Midway Grocery, 14193 Chiwawa Loop Road, Lake Wenatchee, 509-763-3344
Naches, Chinook Pass and White Pass areas
- Gold Creek Station, 18131 State Route 410, phone 509-658-2583
- Slim’s Market, 9951 Hwy 12, phone 509-653-2268
- Oak Creek Ace Hardware, 10400 Hwy 12, phone 509-653-1294
- Eagle Rock Resort, 8590 State Route 410, phone 509-658-2905
- Whistlin’ Jack Lodge, 20800 State Route 410, phone 509-658-2433
- Rimrock Grocery Store, 34090 Hwy. 12, phone 509-672-2251
- Helms True Value Hardware, 475 North Wenas Road, phone 509-697-8222
- Bi-Mart store, 110 West South Hill Road in Sunnyside, phone 509-839-0781
- Hank’s Market, 412 E. Methow Valley Hwy (Hwy 20) in Twisp, 509-997-7711
- Hank’s Mini Mart, 410 E. Methow Valley Hwy (Hwy 20) in Twisp, 509-997-4332
- Hooked on Toys, 1444 N. Wenatchee Ave., phone 509-663-0740
- Arlberg Sports, Grand Central Bldg., 25 N. Wenatchee Ave., phone 509-663-7401
- Stan’s Merry Mart, 733 S. Wenatchee Ave., phone 509-662-5858
- Pardners Mini-Mart, 900 Hwy 20 in Winthrop, phone 509-996-2005
- Bi-Mart stores located at 1207 North 40th Ave., phone 509-457-1650 and 309 South 5th Ave., phone 509-457-5175
When venturing out into the cold and snowy hills in pursuit of a Christmas tree, please follow the tips listed below for a safe trip:
- Before leaving home, notify a friend or family member where you will be going and when you will return. Then, stick to your plan and let your contact person know when you have returned.
- Consider carefully your clothing and equipment needs, making certain they are adequate for the worst conditions you might encounter.
- ALWAYS check out the avalanche hazard before leaving home.
- Be familiar with the area that you plan to visit.
- Carry extra clothing, food, and tools in your vehicle for those unexpected mishaps that may occur.
High clearance 4-wheel driver vehicles are recommended for driving on national forest roads during the winter months. Remember to leave early in the day to allow for maximum daylight. Also, be prepared for all types of weather.
For more information regarding Christmas tree permits, areas to cut in, and travel on forest roads, please contact any Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest office.
Alerts & Warnings
- Pasayten Wilderness Fire Area Trail Closures
- Minnow Ridge Fire Area Closure
- White River - Irving Peak Fire Closure / Update
- Buck Creek Pass Fire
- Campfires Not Allowed on National Forest
- Fireworks and Exploding Targets Prohibited on National Forests
- Twisp Area: Louis Lake Trail Bridge Closed
- Winthrop Area: Cub Creek 2 Fire Area Closure
- Mazama-Winthrop-Twisp Area: Cedar Creek Fire Area Closure
- Lake Wenatchee Area: Road #6304 Bridge Closure
- Cle Elum Area: French Cabin Creek Bridge Closure
- Interactive Area Closures Map
- Ellensburg Area: Rider's Camp Closed for 2022
- Naches Area: Boulder Cave Trail / Day Use Site: CLOSED
- Target Shooting Info