Christmas Tree Cutting

Christmas Tree Cutting InfoAs you search for that special Christmas tree, please follow the guidelines listed below.

Corte De Arboles De Navidad -- En Espanol 

The information on this page is also available as a 2-page PDF or in Spanish

If you have any questions, please contact any of our Forest Service offices.

You will need a $5 Christmas tree permit to remove a tree from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Permits are available at all Forest Service offices and various businesses in Okanogan, Chelan, Kittitas, and Yakima Counties. Permits are not refundable.

Free Christmas Tree Permits are available to all Fourth Graders with an Every Kid Pass or Voucher. Pass holders may receive a free Christmas tree permit by presenting an Every Kid in a Park pass or valid paper voucher printed from the Every Kid in a Park website: everykidinapark.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, remember to punch out the month, day, and year on the permit tag. Tags may not be re-used. Attach the Christmas tree tag where it is clearly visible on the tree. It should be attached before the tree is loaded on to your vehicle.

 Christmas Tree permit example 

 

Each permit is for one Christmas tree. Only two permits issued per family. 

The information on this page is also available as a 2-page PDF or in Spanish

Local Vendors Selling Christmas Tree Permits
[at bottom of page]

Video of Tips for Successful Christmas Tree Hunting

Maps of areas near Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Chelan where Christmas trees can be cut

Christmas trees can only be cut in the National Forest -- green-shaded areas on maps. Click maps for larger version.

Christmas Tree Cutting map- near Wenatchee. Click for larger version.
Wenatchee area
Christmas Tree Cutting map- near Leavenworth. Click for larger version.
Leavenworth area

Christmas Tree Cutting map- near Chelan. Click for larger version.

Chelan area

Areas where trees cannot be cut:

Within congressionally designated Wilderness Areas.

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.

 

The employees of the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests wish you a happy holiday season and hope that your Christmas tree will be a valued addition to your family’s enjoyment.


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 at all ranger stations and the forest headquarters in Wenatchee. The $5 permit allows a family to cut a tree or dig a live transplant tree. Permits may be purchased in person or by mail.

For those who can't make it into any of our offices during daily business hours many local businesses are also selling Christmas tree permits.

Local Vendors Selling Christmas Tree Permits

In Chelan:  Chelan Shell Foodmart Gas Station, 301 E. Woodin Ave., phone (509) 682-2221

In the Cle Elum area:

  • Mac A Bee Gifts of the Southwest, 1401 Airport Road in Cle Elum, phone 509-674-4548
  • Pioneer Coffee, 121 N. Pennsylvania Avenue in Cle Elum, phone 509-674-3864
  • Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce, 314 W. 1st Street in Cle Elum, phone 509-674-6880
  • Intermountain Radio Shack at 208 E. First Street in Cle Elum, phone 509-674-5859
  • Sportland Mini-Mart located between Cle Elum and Roslyn on Hwy 903, phone 509-649-2260
  • Basecamp Books and Bites at 110 W. Pennsylvania in Roslyn, 509-649-3821

In Ellensburg:  Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce, 609 N. Main Street in Ellensburg, phone 509-925-2002

In Entiat:  Entiat Food Center, 2038 Entiat Way in Entiat, phone 509-784-1415 and Cooper’s General Store & Café, 8855 Entiat River Road in Ardenvoir, phone 509-784-2267

In Leavenworth:  Dan's Food Market, 1329 Hwy 2 in Leavenworth, phone 509-548-5611 and the Chevron gas stations.

In the Naches area: 

  • 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

In Selah:  Helms True Value Hardware, 475 North Wenas Road, phone 509-697-8222 and Save-On Foods, 800 North Park Center, phone 509-697-6184

Sunnyside Bi-Mart store, 110 West South Hill Road in Sunnyside, phone 509-839-0781

In the Twisp area:  Hank’s Harvest Foods, 412 Hwy 20/Methow Valley Hwy in Twisp, 509-997-7712 and Hank’s Mini Mart, 410 E. Methow Valley Hwy in Twisp, 509-997-4332

In the Tonasket area: 

  • The Tonasket Junction, 509 S. Whitcomb Ave. in Tonasket, 509-486-1800
  • North 40, 1227 Koala Drive in Omak, 509-422-9840
  • The Conconully Store, 201 N. Main Street in Conconully, 509-826-3374

Wenatchee: 

  • Arlberg Sports, Grand Central Building, 25 N. Wenatchee Ave., phone 509-663-7401
  • Hooked on Toys, 1444 N. Wenatchee Ave., phone 509-663-0740
  • Stan’s Merry Mart, 733 S. Wenatchee Ave., phone 509-662-5858

Winthrop:  Pardners Mini-Mart, 99 WA-20 in Winthrop, 509-996-2005 and Winthrop Mountain Sports, 257 Riverside Ave., 509-996-2886

Yakima:  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:

  1. 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.
  2. Consider carefully your clothing and equipment needs, making certain they are adequate for the worst conditions you might encounter.
  3. ALWAYS check out the avalanche hazard before leaving home.
  4. Be familiar with the area that you plan to visit.
  5. 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.

The information on this page is also available as a 2-page PDF or in Spanish