Some of our conifer trees make ideal Christmas trees, and for $5 a tree, you can bring home the holiday magic from your National Forest!
For some, Christmas tree cutting on the RRSNF has been a holiday tradition for many years. For some, this will be the first year--perhaps of many to come!--of venturing out to the Forest for this fun adventure. To help protect the future of this program, we ask that you take special care to read and follow the guidelines.
Permits can be purchased:
- At any of our Interagency or District offices;
- Online at recreation.gov; and
- From any one of our local vendors. (It's best to call vendors ahead of time to ensure they have permits on hand.)
Tips and Tricks
- All standard rules and regulations apply, no matter how you obtain your permit, so make sure you read up on the "Guidelines and Restrictions" listed below!
- Planning to get your permit online, through recreation.gov? Permits MUST be printed to be valid.
Get Your Maps, Digitally!
We realize those standard paper maps aren't very helpful for knowing where you are on the landscape. That's why we've added them to Avenza, where you can download them for free and make sure your favorite cutting spot is in the gree designated areas!
Know Before You Go
- Go digital and download all of your maps on Avenza, and know where you are at all times! Cell service is NOT necessary for Avenza use.
- How you collect your Christmas Tree can be half the fun! Try cross-country skiing into less accessible areas and make an adventure out of it!
- Branches trimmed from your tree may be used as holiday greens!
- Recycle! There are often ways to dispose of your tree AND help a community group out--be familiar with your options! Flocking and tinsel often reduce your options, so be mindful of how you're decorating.
- One permit is required for each Christmas tree, and five permits maximum, per household. Permits are $5.00 each.
- Per the Every Kid Outdoors initiative 4th Graders are entitled to one FREE Christmas tree permit with a valid Every Kid Outdoors pass.
- You can get that free permit by bringing your 4th grader into any of our offices to get their permit; they must present their valid Every Kid Outdoors plastic pass or voucher to get it, so bring that, too! Or, you can get their free permit online. Simply enter their pass or voucher number when prompted during checking out via recreation.gov. There is a $2.50 surcharge on those permits, required by recreation.gov.
- Christmas tree permits must be validated and attached to your tree during transit.
- In southwest Oregon, cut your Christmas tree only on RRSNF or Medford District BLM-administered lands open to Christmas tree harvest. Basic maps are provided at the time of permit purchase, and Forest and District maps are available for sale.
- Select any tree species that is less than 12 feet tall.
- Only take a tree that is within 12 feet of another tree.
- Cut stumps shorter than 12 inches.
- Respect road and area closures. Free copies of the Motor Vehicle Use Maps are available at every Forest office, and on Avenza.
- On private property.
- Within 200 feet of state highways, picnic areas, campgrounds and other developed areas.
- Within 300 feet of streams and bodies of water.
- Within posted young tree plantations (nursery-grown seedlings planted for future forests).
- In designated Federal Wilderness Areas or Wild and Scenic River corridors.
- In Federally-managed campgrounds.
- In developed recreation areas.
- In National Monuments (including the BLM's Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument).
- In Research Natural Areas or Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.
- Within areas currently closed for public health and safety.
- Go digital and download all of your maps on Avenza, and know where you are at all times! Cell service is NOT necessary!
- Know Before You Go: Be aware of predicted weather and road conditions of major highways that provide access to your public lands!
- Always let someone know where you plan to cut.
- Be prepared: Bring additional warm clothing, a container of hot liquid, water, lunch or a few snacks as it always takes longer than expected.
- Carry a flashlight, chains, first aid kit, a hatchet or axe, good warm gloves, boots, and rope to tie your tree down.
- Prolong the life of your tree: When you bring your tree home, immediately cut a 1 inch diagonal piece off the bottom. Place your tree in a container with a mixture of one part sugar to sixteen parts water. Keeping the container filled will help prolong the freshness of your tree.
- Place your tree so it will not block exits, away from heat.
- Never use lighted candles on a tree or near any evergreen decorations.
- Use decorations which are noncombustible, such as glass, or which are flame-retardant. Keep natural evergreens and polystyrene decorations away from candles, fireplaces, and other open flames.
Commercial Christmas tree permits or contracts are typically not offered every year, but are typically only available on our High Cascades or Gold Beach Ranger Districts. Please call the District Office where you are interested in harvesting to check for current availability before you head out to obtain a permit.
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Medford and Coos Bay Districts of the Bureau of Land Management share the Christmas Tree Permit program to make it easier for the public to understand where they can and cannot cut their trees. We have two maps to cover the lands administered by these two agencies, divided into West and East Zones: