How to get a Christmas tree from the Tongass National Forest

Contact(s): Paul Robbins Jr

KETCHIKAN, Alaska – Forest users do not need a permit to cut a Christmas tree on Tongass National Forest for personal use. A household may remove one Christmas tree per year. Make sure to check the area Motor Vehicle Use Map to confirm the tree is in a Forest Service land management area before cutting:

There are no regulations on what tree species or size to cut. However, there are a few rules people are asked to follow:

  • Trees may not be cut from any developed Forest Service recreation sites
  • Trees may not be cut from the Heen Latinee Experimental Forest.
  • Trees may not be cut from land within 330 feet of a bald eagle nest (often located near water.)
  • Trees many not be cut within 100 feet of a salmon stream or a road.
  • Trees should be no larger than seven inches in diameter at the stump
  • Cut trees as close to the ground as possible, below the lowest limb or 12 inches from the ground.
  • Do not top a larger tree.
  • Do not cut a tree and then discard it for another one found to be more desirable.
  • Christmas trees should not be harvested from muskeg areas, as regeneration in these area is very difficult to establish.
  • The tree cannot be sold, bartered or used in any commercial-type exchange for goods.
  • Please call the local district for more information

For interviews and information to be used for publication, contact the Tongass Public Affairs Officer at 907-228-6201.




USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.