Christmas Tree Permits

Many families across the nation have a holiday tradition of cutting their own Christmas tree from a national forest. Each year, local U.S. Forest Service offices sell permits that allow individuals to cut fresh Christmas trees anywhere on forest lands. This tradition is a fun way to get outside during the holiday season and play in the snow!

Where can I find a Christmas Tree on National Forest land? 

What do I need to cut my own Christmas tree?‚Äč

  • Permit
  • Map
  • Compass and/or GPS unit
  • Rope
  • Tarp 
  • Emergency flares
  • Work gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Saw or Axe
  • Water
  • Food
  • Extra clothing
  • Gloves, Hat, Boots

Tips for a successful tree cutting adventure.....


  • Always travel with a companion. Better yet, take the whole family! 
  • Always tell someone at home when and where you are going on a forest, and let them know approximately how long you will be gone
  • Always make sure to have an updated map and compass before leaving 
  • Be sure to check weather conditions - as the weather can change rapidly during the winter months
  • Always have emergency supplies, including food, water and flares. 
  • Bring an extra set of clothing - just in case you get wet.

Tree Cutting Tips:

  • Do not cut a tree near administrative sites, campgrounds or day sites, or within view of roads or trails
  • Make sure the direction you choose to cut is clear of obstacles, including power lines and vehicles
  • Trees should be cut at the base, near the ground. Never take the top off a larger tree.
  • Make sure you place your permit tag around the trunk of the tree after you load it into your vehicle. 


Finally, when the season is over, check your local area - you may get to recycle your tree free of charge.