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A Tree for the Holidays from Your National Forests
Brought to You, By You

A Tree for the Holidays from Your National Forests
Brought to You, By You

A tree-cutting tradition creates lifetime memories

Cutting the Chirstmas Tree Start a great tradition with your family this year! (USFS)

What You’ll Find

National Forests offer opportunities for people to search for that special tree to fill their homes with the scent of pine and be transformed into a brilliantly decorated centerpiece for holiday traditions. Enjoy this video of a family following their Christmas tree-cutting tradition.



Another tree-cutting tradition made its way across the country from the Colville National Forest in Washington State to Washington, D.C. Each year, since 1970, a national forest provides “the people’s tree” to be placed at the Capitol Building and decorated with ornaments made by citizens of the state. The 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree, an 88-foot Englemann spruce, arrived in the nation’s capital on November 25 after visiting 23 cities in 12 states. The tree will be lit during a tree-lighting ceremony on December 3.

Getting There

Permits for holiday tree cutting are available at most U.S. Forest Service offices and fees vary per location. Contact the Forest Service office in your area to inquire about permit availability and tree-cutting locations.

Make Sure You

Prepare for weather and road conditions that might make travel difficult. Also, be aware of the areas that are approved for tree-cutting, which are designated by the local office and part of the information provided when you purchase a permit. Read the U.S. Forest Service news release for more helpful information and safety tips.

Don’t Forget

Cut trees that are six inches in diameter or smaller located in designated cutting areas. You are helping to keep your forests healthy when you cut a tree. The permit system by the U.S. Forest Service helps to thin densely populated stands of small-diameter trees.