Forest Products Permits

Christmas Tree Permit

Create special memories by bringing your family to the Shawnee National Forest to cut your own Christmas tree.  A permit is required to cut any Christmas tree off  national forest land.  Permits can be purchased for $5 at any of the Forest offices beginning November 18, 2019. One permit is allowed per household and is limited to one tree per permit. 

Christmas Tree Permit Conditions:

  • A $5.00 permit must be purchased before cutting any tree.
  • One permit per household; one tree per permit.
  • Permits must be obtained in person.
  • Bring photo ID and license plate number of the vehicle that will be used to haul the tree.
  • The tree must be cut on Shawnee National Forest lands.
  • You must be in possession of your permit during harvest and transport of the Christmas tree.
  • Permit holder is responsible for ensuring they are cutting the tree on U.S. Forest Service - Shawnee National Forest land. Land ownership maps are available to review or purchase at all Forest offices.
  • Trees cannot be cut and removed from the following areas:
  1. Developed Recreation Areas (i.e., campgrounds, picnic areas, interpretive areas, beaches, observation sties and trailheads) This includes the developed area and an additional 150 yard buffer around the developed area.
  2. Natural Areas - Boundaries for these are marked on the ground with yellow posts and labeled 'Natural Area'.
  3. Wilderness Areas - Designated areas are shown on Forest Map.
  4. National Register Sites (Saline Springs and Millstone Bluff) and Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
  5. Any area(s) of the Forest closed under a Forest Order.
  • No tree taller than 15 feet can be cut. A larger tree may not be cut simply for the top portion.   
  • The stump must be cut close to the ground, 6 inches or less. 
  • No BALD CYPRESS tree may be cut.
  • Chainsaws can be used in cutting the tree, but trucks, tractors, winches, ATV/UTVs, or other mechanized equipment are not allowed to be used in dragging the tree out.
  • Christmas tree may be cut along roads and trails.
  • Shawnee Natl. Forest motor vehicle restrictions must be followed when removing and hauling the Christmas tree.

Firewood Permits

Collecting firewood requires a permit which can be purchased at any Shawnee National Forest office.  The cost of a firewood permit is $20 and allows for two cords of firewood (approx. 4 pick up truck loads) to be collected and removed. Firewood permits are available throughout the year but permits expire on September 30th.  Interested public must be obtained a firewood permit in person, with identification and vehicle plate number.


Gathering berries, nuts, mushrooms and other “wild foods” is allowed for personal use only. When gathering berries and fruits keep in mind the following; plants with thorns are good habitat for chiggers. Protective clothing and insect spray will help prevent misery. Gather only the amount of berries and fruits that will be used; wildlife depends upon such foods for sustenance. Make sure you do not trespass on private land.

Plant Collecting

Collecting flowers or plants for personal use is allowed on National Forest lands except for designated Wilderness and Natural Areas. Commercial plant collecting is restricted and requires obtaining a permit from the Shawnee National Forest Supervisors Office. Collection of endangered, threatened, or rare species is prohibited.!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zijQwgwNHCwN_DI8zPwBcqYKBfkO2oCADIwpjI/?pname=Shawnee%2520National%2520Forest%2520-%2520Forest%2520Products%2520Permits&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&ss=110908&pnavid=160000000000000&navid=160110000000000&ttype=main&cid=FSE_003759