Here’s How to Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree in the Lassen National Forest

This holiday season, revive a cherished tradition or create a new one by cutting your own Christmas tree in the scenic Lassen National Forest. Picture yourself surrounded by crisp mountain air, the satisfying crunch of forest floor beneath your boots, and the thrill of finding the perfect tree.

Beyond the joy of selecting your tree, this tradition benefits the forest. The permit system plays a crucial role in enhancing forest health. It helps thin out densely populated areas with small-diameter trees, allowing other trees to grow larger and creating valuable wildlife habitats.

Starting from November 1, 2023, and available until December 22, 2023, Christmas tree cutting permits can be purchased. You can acquire permits through mail, at district offices, the Supervisor’s Office during regular business hours, or from local vendors listed below:

  • Collier Hardware, Chico
  • Chico True Value Hardware, Chico
  • Susanville Supermarket IGA, Susanville
  • Butte Meadows Resort, Butte Meadows
  • Lake Almanor Ace Hardware, Chester
  • Zavaterro’s Grocery, Forest Ranch
  • Intermountain Hardware, Chester

Permits are reasonably priced at $10 each, with a maximum of two permits per household. Your permit allows you to cut your tree until December 25, 2023. For those opting for mail orders, a fillable order form and detailed instructions can be found on this link. Please ensure your mail order forms are received by December 9, 2023, for processing.

While tree cutting is permitted until December 25th, it’s recommended to cut early in the season to avoid higher elevations becoming snowbound. Proper storage can keep your tree fresh for weeks, but they begin losing moisture as soon as they’re cut, so get them in water as soon as possible.

When cutting your tree, follow all Travel Management Rules for motor vehicles and consult the Motor Vehicle Use Maps available on the website for open roads and trails. Ensure the tree you choose is on National Forest lands, leave a stump no taller than twelve inches above bare soil, and do not top trees.

Remember to be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially at higher elevations. Check the weather and road conditions, inform someone of your plans, carry warm clothing, water, emergency supplies, and the tools needed for tree cutting. Stay safe and make lasting holiday memories!

For additional inquiries, please call ahead before purchasing a permit. Office hours, locations, and more information, including maps and tips, can be found on the website. For updates, follow the Lassen National Forest on Facebook @LassenNationalForest or X (formerly Twitter) @LassenNF.

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