Klamath National Forest Christmas Tree Permit

Klamath National Forest

The Klamath National Forest has decided to allow Siskiyou County residents and visitors to cut one Christmas tree per family from Klamath National Forest lands during the 2020 holiday season!  No permit is required for the one Christmas tree per family.

Lifelong memories can be made around the ritual of driving out to the National Forest on a wintry day, finding that perfect tree, then bringing it home for family and loved ones to enjoy. These web pages and the permit provide you with the essential information for a successful tree cutting trip.  

Most areas of the Forest outside of designated wilderness are open to Christmas Tree cutting. Please do not cut trees in Botanical Special Interest Areas or in Geologic Special Interest Areas. Maps that show some of the more popular Christmas tree areas can be downloaded from this web page. Most of the tree cutting opportunities are at least a half- hour drive from Yreka. Be prepared to drive on dirt or graveled roads under wintry conditions. Please be aware that the Forest Service closes some roads during the winter season to help prevent road damage.

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

Need to Know

Where to Cut Your Tree

Please respect privately owned property. Make sure the tree you cut is on Klamath National Forest lands and is outside of designated Wilderness, Botanical Areas, or Geologic Areas. Here are popular places to find a tree:

Deer Mountain - elevation 6, 000 ft.: on the Forest’s east side one hour from Yreka. The area is off Forest Road 19, which is regularly plowed up to the Deer Mountain Snowmobile Park. Tree types: White fir & Red fir (on Picadilly Ridge).

Four Corners and Fourmile Hill - elevation 5,200 ft.: on the Forest’s far eastern side. The area is off Forest Road 15, which is regularly plowed to Four Corners Snowmobile Park. Tree type: Red fir.  

Willow Creek Mountain - elevation 6,200 ft.: on the Forest’s East side a half-hour from Macdoel, west of Martin’s Dairy Campground. Tree types: White fir & Red fir. 

Deadwood Creek - elevation 3,600 ft.: half-hour west of Yreka off Forest Road 45N49. Tree types: Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine and Incense cedar.  

Carter Meadows Summit - elevation 6,000 ft: 15-minutes from Callahan off Forest Road 39N08. Tree types: Red fir near the summit; White fir, Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, and Incense cedar near Carter Meadows.

Etna Summit – elevation 6,000 ft: 15-minutes from Etna off County Rd. 1C01 (Sawyer’s Bar Rd.). Tree types: Red fire and White fir.

Selecting Your Tree

Tree cutting is not permitted on any recreation or administrative site (such as a campground), within 300' of flowing streams, or 150’ of dry creek-beds.

Do not cut trees over 4 inches in diameter. 

Do not leave a stump that is more than 12 inches above the ground

Do not cut isolated trees growing in the open.

Take the whole tree. Do not remove only the top of the tree.

Remove snow from around the stump so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height.

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 Alerts and road closures before you leave on your trip. https://www.fs.usda.gov/klamath/

Bring a map with you. Don’t rely on GPS because it may not be up-to-date on Forest Service roads. Roads may not be plowed. Carry tire chains, shovel(s) and a tow chain. Be sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas.

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

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

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.

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

Please keep your pets on a leash at all times.

Helpful Cutting Tips

Tools to bring: measuring tape to 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. Select a tree with needles that do not pull easily from its branches or break when gently bent.

Cut as close to the ground as practical, leaving a stump no more than 12 inches high from the ground. Cut the leftover branches from the stump and scatter them.

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. 

Set-up at home: Re-cut the trunk 1 or 2 inches above the old cut and immediately place in a clean tree stand. Add water to the tree stand, covering the tree base. A 6-foot tree can "drink" a quart or two of water every day. Sprinkle the branches and foliage with water to lengthen its life. Consider using a commercial floral preservative in the water.

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

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