Things you need to know about Christmas tree cutting in National forests

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DENVER – The USDA Forest Service is offering cut-your-own Christmas tree opportunities on the Pike-San Isabel, Arapaho, Roosevelt, White River, Rio Grande, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests this year, permit required.

The permit will cost $8.00 to $20.00, depending on individual Forest pricing. Each permit is for personal use only and local restrictions may apply. There is a limit of two to five trees per household.

General rules for the process are as follows:

  1. The trunk size should be around 6 inches in diameter; this is strictly enforced in some areas, some local exceptions may apply
  2. Bring a handsaw to cut trees
  3. You may NOT use chainsaws, snowmobiles, ATVs, or other off-road vehicles
  4. Cutting trees marked with blue paint is strictly PROHIBITED
  5. Cut trees within 4 inches of the ground and below all live limbs, take the whole tree
  6. Pets must be leashed and under control; it is recommended to leave pets at home
  7. No trespassing on private property
  8. Be sure to keep the Christmas tree in water after it is cut
  9. Dress appropriately for cold winter conditions, wear appropriate boots for walking through the forest
  10. For public safety, entry hours at all tree cutting sites are from 8:30am to 2:30pm during the cutting dates.

Thinning stands of smaller trees by removing some as Christmas trees reduces competition among all trees, helps reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and promotes healthier growing conditions for the remaining forest. 

To learn more about Christmas tree cutting, safety and directions to cutting areas, click here.

Below, please find additional information on cutting areas and permit purchase locations.

Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests

Permits for all areas MUST be purchased in advance via Recreation.gov and are available for $20 each. For more information:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/passes-permits/?cid=fsm91_058252

Sulphur Ranger District (Granby): AREAS OPEN TO CHRISTMAS TREE CUTTING

  • Vasquez Road, CR 7 (first ¾ mile is open for public access)
  • Little Vasquez Road, Arapahoe Road (limited parking)
  • Elk Creek Meadows, CR 72 (gates closed, can walk, snowshoe or ski in)
  • Meadow Creek, CR 84 (just over 3.5 miles to the snowmobile parking area)
  • Cottonwood Pass, CR 55 (access from Hot Sulphur Springs, 4 miles to parking area at the Big Meadows (FSR 253) intersection)

For more information: 970-887-4100. Please leave a message.
Recommended: Tire chains or a 4-wheel drive vehicle

Pike-San Isabel National Forest:

Permit Price: $10 – $20

For details about where you can cut and cutting dates visit

https://www.recreation.gov/tree-permits/49f7193c-e64e-11ea-a244-5e6d4b9f6262

South Platte Ranger District: Buffalo Creek (near Pine Junction), Sugar Creek, and Camp Fickes

  • Permits are $20 and available here.
  • Required: tire chains or a four-wheel drive vehicle (Camp Fickes Area only)

Pikes Peak Ranger District: near Woodland Park

  • Permits are $20 and available here.
  • Highly Recommended: 4-wheel drive vehicle or tire chains

South Park area (near Fairplay): District-wide, with some exceptions

  • Permits are $20 and available here.
  • Highly Recommended: 4-wheel drive vehicle or tire chains

San Carlos Ranger District: District-wide, with some exceptions

  • Permits are $10 and available here
  • Highly Recommended: 4-wheel drive vehicle or tire chains

Leadville Ranger District: District-wide, with some exceptions

  • Permits are $10 and available here
  • Highly Recommended: 4-wheel drive vehicle or tire chains

Salida Ranger District: District-wide, with some exceptions

  • Permits are $10 and available here.
  • Highly Recommended: 4-wheel drive vehicle or tire chains

White River National Forest:

Permit Price: $10

For details about where you can cut and cutting dates, click here.

Dillon Ranger District (near Silverthorne): District-wide, with some exceptions

  • Permits are available at:
    • Dillon Ranger Station 680 Blue River Parkway Silverthorne, CO 80498
    • Online at www.recreation.gov
    • Sander’s True Value (Cash ONLY)
    • Breckenridge Welcome Center
  • Recommended: 4-wheel drive vehicle or tire chains

Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests

Permits are $8 each and can be purchased online through Recreation.gov. Details about designated cutting areas, cutting dates and types of trees that may be cut can be found at:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gmug/passes-permits/forestproducts/?cid=stelprdb5345974

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