Idaho Panhandle National Forest Christmas Tree Permit

Idaho Panhandle National Forests

This permit allows you to cut a Christmas tree on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests! Lifelong memories are built during these special times and we are happy to help with any information gathering you'll need to make this trip a safe and enjoyable one. 

Please be sure to read and agree to all the tips and guidelines when selecting your tree.

Find forest maps and Motor Vehicle Use Maps at the Idaho Panhandle National Forest website

Need to Know

Selecting Your Tree

Each forest has limitations on the size of the tree you can cut and the species of trees that are permitted. See below to help you measure and choose a tree that meets your permit's guidelines. 

Prohibited Tree Species: Western Red Cedar and Whitebark Pine

For identification information, visit:

Tree Height: 12 feet maximum

Stump height: 6 inches maximum.

Take the whole tree. Cutting the tree top off is prohibited.

If snow is on the ground, remove it from around the stump so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height. 

Cut the leftover branches from the stump and scatter them.

Where to Cut Your Tree

Your permit allows you to cut Christmas trees on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

Please post your permit on your dash.

Make sure you cut your tree on public lands by checking a Idaho Panhandle NationalForests Visitor Map and follow road restrictions on the Motor Vehicle Use Map.

Do not cut on private land, in wilderness areas, designated recreation sites, previously thinned areas, or existing tree plantations.

Do not cut in active timber sales or areas that have been planted with new trees.

Do not cut trees visible from major roads, within 150-feet of streams and creeks, or inother well-used areas.

Planning Your Trip

Helpful Cutting Tips

Carry your tree carefully out of the woods. Dragging the tree will rub off needles and bark. 

If the tree is too big to transport inside of your vehicle, wrap it in canvas to prevent wind damage. 

Once home, cut the bottom of the trunk off and place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket of water. Replenish water. 

If storing your tree outside for a few days before moving inside, keep it in an areaprotected from the wind.

Tools you might want to consider bringing with you include a measuring tape to ensure you select a tree that fits in your home; handsaw to cut your tree; gloves to protect your hands; boots to protect your feet; a tarp to sit on and/or to move your tree once it's cut; and rope or straps to secure your tree to your vehicle.

Choose a tree from a dense forested area, which will give the remaining trees more space to grow.

How to Plan Your Trip

Before you leave home, be sure to measure the space where you plan to place the tree in your home (height and width), and measure the space in your vehicle where you will be transporting the tree.

Cell service may be spotty or unavailable. Be sure someone knows where you are and when to expect you back.

Check the latest weather conditions, forest warnings and road closures before you leave on your trip.

Bring a map with you. Don’t rely on GPS because it may not be up-to-date with forest service roads.

Dress warmly and take extra dry clothes. Expect winter weather, including cold temperatures, snow and wind.

Roads may not be plowed. Carry tire chains, shovel(s) and a tow chain. Be sure yourvehicle has a full tank of gas. Bring a spare key and give it to someone else in yourparty. Don’t get locked out of your car!

Park in areas so that traffic can get by safely, and do not block gates.

Bring plenty of food and water with you as well as an overnight survival kit in case you become stranded.

Start your day early. Be sure to find your tree and leave the woods before dark.

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