Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Christmas Tree Permit

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Headquarters

This permit allows you to cut a Christmas Tree within designated areas of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest! Participating Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Ranger Districts offering permits to cut a tree in specific areas include the Carson, Bridgeport, Austin-Tonapah, Ely, and Mountain City/Ruby Mountains/Jarbidge Ranger Districts.   

Need to Know

Where to Cut Your Tree

Each Christmas tree permit is valid for the cutting of a tree in specific areas on lands managed by the Ranger District for which the permit was purchased.

Do not cut in wilderness areas, designated campgrounds, or National Forest Administrative sites. 

Please ensure you’re truly on National Forest System lands. No cutting on private property, within county parks, and your permit is only valid for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. 

Do not cut within active project areas – if you see crews or heavy equipment working, please find a different area to cut. 

Selecting Your Tree

Stump height: 6 inches maximum

Stump diameter from the ground: 6 inches maximum

Take the whole tree. Do not remove the top of the tree; cut down the entire tree

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

Do not cut five needle pines. Popular species for Christmas trees on the Humboldt-Toiyabe are: Jeffery pine, ponderosa pine, white fir, red fir, lodgepole pine, incense cedar, pinyon pine, and western juniper. 

Ensure the tree you’ve selected to cut is within 10 feet of another living tree. 

Planning Your Trip

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 winds.

Roads may not be plowed. Carry tire chains, shovel(s) and a tow chain. Some Forest roads may be closed for the winter, do not drive around closed gates. Be sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas. Bring a spare key and give it to someone else in your party. 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.

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 putting it in the house, keep it in an area protected from the wind, such as the north or east side of your house, or under a shaded tree.

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.

Cut the leftover branches from the stump and scatter them.

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