Due to impacts from fires, the Sequoia National Forest has a limited number of Christmas Tree Permits to offer. The Kern River Ranger District is the only district offering Christmas Tree Permits.
This permit allows you to cut a Christmas Tree within designated areas of the Sequoia National Forest! Lifelong memories are built during these special trips 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.
You can find maps of the Christmas Tree cutting areas here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/sequoia/passes-permits/forestproducts
Permit is only applicable in areas shown on the maps.
Christmas tree harvest is not allowed in developed recreation areas, campsites or within 300 feet of a stream or on private lands.
Do not cut within wilderness areas or within 100’ of a state highway.
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.
Stump height: 12 inches maximum.
Stump diameter: 6 inches maximum at ground level.
All conifer species are allowed, except for giant sequoia.
Take the whole tree. Do not remove the top of the tree; cut down the entire tree and remove it.
If snow is on the ground, remove it from around the stump so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height.
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. 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.
Roads may not be plowed. Carry tire chains, shovel(s) and a tow chain. 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.
We don't recommend bringing your pets but, if you do, they must be on a leash.
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, and in the shade.
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.
Cut the leftover branches from the stump and scatter them.