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Christmas tree permits available beginning Tuesday

Published On: Nov 08 2013 09:15:18 PM MST
HAMILTON, Mont. -

The following is a press release from the Bitterroot National Forest:

- Cutting your own Christmas tree is a special holiday outing available to those who live near National Forest Lands.  There’s an abundant choice of trees and species on the Bitterroot National Forest.  In order to remove a Christmas tree from the National Forest, you need to have a Christmas tree permit. They may be purchased for $5 beginning this Tuesday, November 12th at any Forest Service office or at authorized retailers including Bob Ward’s in Hamilton, Mr. T’s in Darby, Merc Fresh Market in Corvallis, Cenex in Stevensville, and the Lone Pine Conoco in Hamilton.  Only cash or personal check will be accepted for payment. 

Here are some tips for you to get the best tree possible, and manage the forest for years to come.

  • Taking a tree from an overcrowded area will give the remaining trees more space, moisture and light to grow.
  • Cutting is not allowed in tree plantations, previously thinned areas, restricted areas such as developed recreation sites, existing timber sale areas, or within 300 feet of campgrounds, streams, lakes, or ponds.
  • Please do not cut out the top of a tree or leave a stump higher than eight inches.  Select a tree at least 100 feet away from any main road.  
  • Be sure you are cutting your tree on National Forest land. Maps of the National Forest may be purchased at any Forest Service office Mon-Fri. 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Maps are $10 each.
  • Be prepared for winter conditions and take a vehicle equipped with 4-wheel drive, snow tires or chains.  Start early since winter days are shorter.  Keep a watchful eye for snowmobiles and other recreationists walking, skiing, or sledding on back roads. 
  • If the tree won’t be set up right away, store it in a cool area. When you’re ready to bring it indoors, cut at least an inch off the bottom.  The tree will be thirsty so make sure there is always plenty of water in the tree stand. This will prolong the life of the tree through the holidays.
  • Permits are for personal use only and limited to three per family. If you want to remove Christmas trees for fundraising or boughs for commercial use, please visit or call the Darby Ranger District at (406) 821-3913.

For more information contact the Bitterroot National Forest office near you or visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/bitterroot