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National Forest Christmas Tree Permits Available

(File Photo: Trevor T. Trujillo, Townsquare Media)

Christmas tree permits are now available at all Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest offices in Colorado and Wyoming for $10.00.

Each permit allows for the cutting of one tree on National Forest System Lands. There is a limit of five permits per household. Trees must be for personal use, not for resale. The permit must be clearly displayed around the stem of the tree before leaving the cutting area.

Some areas of the Forest are off limits to tree cutting or may be difficult to access. Please contact the Ranger District in the area where you will be cutting your tree for site-specific information, including road status and area restrictions.

The Forest Service would like to emphasize that cutting trees is prohibited in all Wilderness areas on the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests. Additionally, tree cutting is not allowed in any part of the Pole Mountain Unit of the Laramie Ranger District.

With each passing year of the bark beetle epidemic, the threat of falling trees increases; therefore, all forest visitors are reminded to pay attention to weather forecasts, avoid areas with beetle-killed trees on high wind days, and be aware of their surroundings. Weather conditions can change quickly, so be prepared. Dress for winter conditions and have your vehicle equipped adequately.

Christmas tree cutting has taken place on the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests for many decades and there remains an abundance of young trees for visitors to establish and continue traditions. Tree cutting regulations have been established to maintain a healthy forest environment and sustainable forest management program.

Some reminders when cutting your tree include:

  • Trees may not be cut within 100 feet of roads or within 200 feet of campgrounds, picnic areas, scenic pullouts, administrative sites, timber sale areas or designated Wilderness areas. Distances may be greater for state highways and scenic byways, contact district offices for details.
  • Visitors are encouraged to choose a tree that is growing with other trees in a cluster and not choose the “perfect” tree that stands alone. The forest environment benefits by thinning the clusters and allowing the strong trees to remain and provide for a healthy genetic source for the future forest.
  • Maximum tree height is 20 feet.
  • Cut the tree to a stump height of six inches or less, or below the lowest living branch, whichever is lower. If one living branch is left on the stump, the tree will continue to grow, although it will probably become deformed and encourage disease.
  • If boughs are wanted, please choose a taller tree than needed (maximum 20 feet) and use the lower branches for boughs. Please do not cut boughs from other living trees.

For more information, contact your local Forest Service office or visit their website:

Forest Service Christmas Tree Cutting Info Page

Permits can be purchased at various locations, such as select Bureau of Land Management and Chamber of Commerce offices. See above site for details.

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