Christmas tree cutting guidance for National Forest managed lands in Juneau

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.
    • On the Juneau Ranger District: Auke Village, Lena Beach and all of the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area (Skater’s Cabin, Visitor Center, West Glacier Trail, Mendenhall Lake Campground and Dredge Lakes area). 
      • Trees may not be cut from the Heen Latinee Experimental Forest.
    • On Admiralty Island National Monument, use a hand saw or axe to cut the tree. Chainsaws and motorized equipment are prohibited in the Kootznoowoo Wilderness.
  • Trees may not be cut from land within 330 feet of a bald eagle nest (often located near water).
  • Trees may not be cut 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, regeneration of trees in these areas is very difficult.
  • 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.

The Juneau Ranger District suggests the following locations to harvest a Christmas tree, 100 feet or more from the road on either side:

  1. Heading north on Glacier Highway-between Milepost 29 to Milepost 33;
  2. After crossing the bridge to Douglas Island and at roundabout take the North Douglas exit. At Milepost 8½ turn left on Fish Creek Rd./Eaglecrest Rd. for about 1½ miles. Just past the Fish Creek bridge, drive for a mile towards Eaglecrest Ski Area, stop at trailhead (trail head parking on the left after crossing the bridge).

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=FSEPRD853774