Keep the family tradition alive this year, or start a new one – by cutting a Christmas tree within the Lassen National Forest.
Experience cool mountain air, the forest floor crunching beneath your boots, and finding that perfect tree this Holiday Season and according to the Forest Service cutting a Christmas tree improves forest health!
The permit system helps to thin densely populated stands of small-diameter trees. Removing these trees in designated areas helps other trees grow larger and can open areas that provide food for wildlife.
Christmas tree cutting permits go on sale November 1st, 2023, through December 22nd, 2023. You may purchase a permit through the mail, or at any of our district offices and Supervisor’s Office during normal business hours, or from a local vendor. Here in Susanville you can purchase permits at either the Forst Service district office or at Susanville Supermarket IGA. The store is open from 5:00 to 10:00, seven days a week, and permits can be purchased at the customer service desk.
Permits are $10.00 each with a maximum of two permits per household. Your permit allows you to cut your tree until December 25th.
The Forest Service has a fillable order form for mail ordering your Christmas tree permit and detailed instructions can be found at this link. Mail order forms must be received no later than December 9th, for processing.
Though tree cutting is permitted through December 25th, the Forest Service recommend cutting early in the season before higher elevations become snowbound. Trees can stay fresh for several weeks when properly stored but begin to lose moisture as soon as they are cut, so place them in water as soon as possible.
You must follow all Travel Management Rules for motor vehicles when you are out cutting your tree. The Motor Vehicle Use Maps available on our website, show all open roads and trails available for motor vehicle use under these rules.
Please practice good stewardship and be certain the tree you want to cut is located on National Forest lands before you cut it down and ensure the maximum height of the stump left behind is no taller than twelve inches above bare soil, with no live branches on the stump. Topping trees is not permitted.
Tree cutters should be prepared for unpredictable weather changes and colder conditions in higher elevations, especially as the season progresses. A fun family outing can become dangerous for the unprepared during rapidly changing weather patterns.
Plan your trip accordingly: check the weather and road conditions, let someone know where you are going and when you will return, have a full tank of fuel in your vehicle, bring plenty of warm clothes, water, emergency food, tire chains, shovel, a saw, or axe to cut your tree, and a tarp and rope to bring it home.
Please call ahead with any additional questions before purchasing a permit, as all sales are final.
To see office hours, locations, and more information, including maps, a list of local vendors selling Christmas tree cutting permits, and tips for cutting your Christmas tree, check Lassen National Forest’s website.