Tongass National Forest Christmas tree cutting guidelines

Contact(s): Paul Robbins Jr.

KETCHIKAN, Alaska – You do not need a permit to cut a Christmas tree on the Tongass National Forest for personal use. A household may remove one Christmas tree per year. Check your area Motor Vehicle Use Map to confirm land ownership at before cutting.

There are no regulations on what tree species or size to cut. However, there is some guidance we ask you to follow:

  • Trees may not be cut:
    • from any developed Forest Service recreation sites.
    • from land within 330 feet of a bald eagle nest (often located near water).
    • within 100 feet of a salmon stream or a road.
  • Trees should be no larger than 7 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 you may find more desirable.
  • Christmas trees should not be harvested from muskeg areas as regeneration in these areas is very difficult to establish.
  • The tree cannot be sold, bartered or used in any commercial-type exchange for goods.
  • Please call your local district for more information

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



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