The selection and cutting of a Christmas tree has been a treasured New Mexican tradition for many generations. Lifelong memories are built during these special times and we are happy to be able to offer tree permit sales and help with any information gathering you’ll need to make your trip a safe and enjoyable one.
Each permit will cost $10.00 plus a $2.50 processing fee and allows you to cut a Christmas tree on the Lincoln National Forest. Please be sure to read and agree to all the tips and guidelines when selecting your tree.
Do not cut on private land, in wilderness areas, within 300 feet of a designated campground or trail, within 100 feet of a paved road or in areas that have been planted with new trees.
Do not cut in active timber sale areas.
Your tree must be 10 feet or smaller, unless you bought a special permit at one of the ranger stations.
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.
Please print and display your permit on the dashboard of your vehicle.
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. 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!
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.
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.
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, 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.