Shasta Trinity National Forest Christmas Tree Permit

Shasta-Trinity National Forest

For many families taking a trip to their local national forest to cut their own Christmas tree has become synonymous with the holiday season. This permit allows you to cut a Christmas Tree within designated areas of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. We are here to help with any information gathering you may need to make your trip both safe and enjoyable. Please feel free to contact any of the Forest offices, during hours of normal operation, , or visit the Forest Christmas tree website at https://go.usa.gov/xGwzP.  

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

Notifications and Alerts

Need to Know

Where to Cut Your Tree

Refer to the Shasta-Trinity Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) for roads that are open to vehicular travel and the Shasta-Trinity Christmas Tree Cutting Maps for areas that are open to Christmas Tree cutting. The Christmas Tree Cutting Maps are part of your permit and list all conditions required for your participation in the Christmas tree program. Permit and map(s) must be in your possession when cutting your Christmas tree. Maps are available for download on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest website. Motor Vehicle Use Maps can be obtained by copying and pasting the following url into a web browser; https://go.usa.gov/xGwuZ, Christmas Tree Cutting Maps can be obtained by copying and pasting the following url into a web browser; https://go.usa.gov/xGwzP. Additionally, both MVUM and Christmas Tree Cutting maps are available free of charge in the Avenza app map store. The Avenza app is free and available from Google Play and the App Store. If you have trouble printing or downloading maps please contact the Forest Service office listed for this permit.

Do not cut on private land or in Wilderness areas. 

Do not cut in active timber sales. 

Do not cut trees within 100 feet of the outer edge of a designated road

Do not cut trees within 100 feet of an administrative site, developed recreation area, campsite, or day use facility

When cutting in the Shasta Zone, of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, be aware of an area closed to cutting that is identified on a supplement to the Shasta Zone East Half Christmas Tree Cutting Map. The supplement is part of the permit.

When cutting in the Shasta Zone, of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, do not cut within plantations. Not all plantations are signed, it is the permittee’s responsibility to ensure they are not cutting in a plantation.

When cutting in the Weaverville area, do not cut the Giant Sequoia trees located at Slate Creek, Tannery Gulch Campground, Mule Creek Station, or on Guy Covington Road. These trees were planted for roadside beautification in the early 1960's.

Selecting Your Tree

There is a limitation on the size you are permitted to cut. See below to help you measure and choose a tree that meets your permit's guidelines. 

Stump height: 12 inches maximum, remove all live branches from stump.

Stump diameter: 6 inches maximum measured at ground level.

Take the whole tree, do not remove only the tree top.

If there is snow on the ground, remove it from around the stump. This will help you accurately measure the stump and tree height.

Planning Your Trip

How to Plan Your Trip

You must print and bring your Christmas Tree Permit with you. Shasta-Trinity National Forest Christmas Tree cutting maps are available at Forest offices, during normal business hours, and can be downloaded from the forest website or on the Avenza app.

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.

Helpful Cutting Tips

Carefully carry your tree 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, and must be transported outside the 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, a 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 this will give the remaining trees more space to grow.

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