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 https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/maps-pubs/?cid=stelprdb5430063 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 https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/about-forest/offices.

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

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD853773