Christmas Tree cutting permits go on sale Nov. 1

Keep the family tradition alive this year, or start a new tradition, 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.

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 Nov. 1, Dec. 22. 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 one of these local vendors:

Permits are $10 each with a maximum of two permits per household. Your permit allows you to cut your tree up to Dec. 25. Our fillable order form for mail ordering your Christmas tree permit and detailed instructions can be found at Mail order forms must be received no later than Dec. 9, for processing.

Though tree cutting is permitted through Dec. 25, we 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.

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 12 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.

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 the website at For more information about the Lassen National Forest follow us on Facebook @LassenNationalForest or X (formally known as Twitter) @LassenNF.