Cut A Tree for the Holidays from Your National Forest

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Did you know? Christmas tree permits are available on national forests across the country to purchase online through 

For every tree that is found, cut, and carried home as a holiday fixture, a new story is created. These stories become the precious memories that create traditions worth carrying on for generations and further connect families with their local forests. Braxton Lemmon offered up her "Here is Our Tree" story as part of the Share Your Story adventure writing contest, which is a touching account of their family's first experience with getting a permit and cutting their tree from the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah.

In three simple steps, you can begin the adventure to find and bring home your very own Christmas tree. Search for your local forest, create or log in to your account, then purchase and print your permit. Now you are ready to venture out and find that special centerpiece to decorate your home for the holidays!  

Christmas tree permits are now available through!

Every Kid Outdoors Passes Grant Students a Free Christmas Tree Permit

All fourth graders, or age equivalent, are eligible to receive an Every Kid Outdoors pass, which is valid at more than 2000 federally managed lands and water sites across the country between September 1 and August 31 each year. 

Every Kid Outdoors pass/voucher holders are also eligible for a free Christmas tree permit through their local National Forest! To obtain a free Christmas tree permit, visit to apply using the Every Kid Outdoors pass/voucher by checking the box indicating you have a pass and entering the pass or voucher number (note: a $2.50 reservation fee will be applied).

If you want to add another special touch to your Christmas tree, check out the Every Kid Outdoors coloring page ornament for your student to decorate and adorn your tree’s branches for all to enjoy.

A family of three and their dog hauls a freshly cut Christmas tree from a forest

Prescott National Forest (Ana Wayman Trujillo, Share the Experience)

Here are seven tips as you prepare for your Christmas tree cutting adventure on your local forest:

  1. Measure the space in your house so you can pick the right size tree once you are in the forest.
  2. Check road and forest conditions and prepare for adverse weather.  
  3. Make sure you are in a designated cutting area or follow guidelines for locations where tree cutting is allowed. Avoid venturing on to private property.
  4. Choose a tree in an overcrowded stand to help thin the area.
  5. Cut your tree close to the ground. The stump you leave behind should be about 6 inches.
  6. Bring a rope and tarp to move your tree from the cutting area to your vehicle.  
  7. Secure your tree to your vehicle to ensure it remains in place for your trip home.

Above all, we hope you have a wonderful experience and create memories that help you bring home a story from your National Forest!

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