2019 Christmas Tree Permits

String of Christmas lights with pine boughs

The Tonto National Forest will be selling a limited number of Christmas tree permits to the public beginning at 8:00 a.m., Monday, November 18, 2019. 

There will be a total of 3500 permits available at $15 each, which can be paid for by cash, credit card or personal check over-the-counter (sorry, no phone or mail orders will be accepted).  Payments in cash (exact change) are preferred to keep the lines moving.  One tree per household.  One person may purchase up to four permits for other families not living in the household.  These permits are for personal use only. 

Permits are first-come, first-served until sold out, and will be sold at the following locations: 

  • 450 permit at the Cave Creek Ranger Station: (480) 595-3300 

  • 1025 permits at the Mesa Ranger Station: (480) 610- 3300 

  • 1025 permits at the Payson Ranger Station: (928) 474-7900.  The office will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 23, November 30, December 7, December 14, and December 21, 2019, as long as there are permits available. 

  • 1000 permits at the Tonto Supervisor’s Office:  (602) 225-5200 

Please note that the number of permits available will change day-to-day and will not be updated on this web page, so call the location you are planning to purchase from to check how many permits they have available. 

Trees must be cut within the designated cutting areas.  A map of the cutting area will be provided with the permit.  Trees may be cut from November 23 to December 24.  There are no refunds on Christmas tree permits. 

At a Glance 

  • Please be sure to place the tag on the tree as soon as it is cut.  Your permit is good from  
    November 23, 2019, through December 24, 2019. 

  • You may cut any species of tree. 

  • Trees must be cut within designated cutting areas. 

  • The tallest tree you may cut from ground level is 10 feet. 

  • Cut stumps to within 8 inches of ground level. 

  • Trees must not be greater than 6 inches in diameter breast high. 

  • Boughs and branches trimmed from trees cut for Christmas trees may be taken for decorations.  Do not cut branches from other trees. 

  • Any part of the tree left on the ground must be spread out to within 24 inches of the ground.  This will provide a more pleasing appearance to the area and reduce the fire hazard through faster decomposition of the branches. 

  • Attach your tag immediately to the tree in a manner that it cannot be removed without tearing it. 

NOTE: Be aware that winter storms can occur suddenly, so be prepared for bad weather and muddy or snowy roads.  Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.  Take a shovel, blankets, warm clothing, food and water, flashlight, matches, tire chains, tow strap and first-aid kit.  If you should happen to get stranded, stay with your vehicle.  Please understand that in the event of a strong storm, access to the Christmas tree cutting area may be closed for your safety and to protect natural resources. Be safe and have a happy holiday season!