Where to get a real Christmas tree
Many Oregonians like to go the extra mile during Christmas and cut down their own tree rather than buying one or putting up a synthetic tree.
This month national forests in the Pacific Northwest began issuing $5 Christmas tree permits, giving you the opportunity to trek through an Oregon forest and find the perfect tree. It may take a little more work, but it provides a fun way to spend time outdoors with friends and family. Here’s some helpful tips from The Oregonian if you plan on cutting down your own tree this year.
- FIND A NATIONAL FOREST: Some, but not all, national forests issue permits, so call ahead if you’re not sure.
- BUY A PERMIT: The national forests sell Christmas tree permits for $5 apiece, available at ranger stations or select local retailers.
- RESPECT THE BOUNDARIES: There are designated areas within each forest where you’re allowed to cut trees, all spelled out for you when you buy your permit. You won’t be able to cut down trees in a wilderness area, or near streams and trails.
- KNOW YOUR FIRS: The noble fir is the most popular tree for the holiday, with firm branches and strong needles. A Douglas fir works well too – just avoid the needle-shedding Hemlock.
- HARVEST RESPONSIBLY: The $5 permit only allows you to cut trees shorter than 12 feet (a pricier permit lets you cut taller ones). You also must pick one within eight feet of another similarly-sized tree. Once you find your tree, cut the stump so it’s less than six inches tall and remove any green branches still attached.
- TAG IT, TIE IT UP: You need to attach your permit tag to the tree as soon as it’s cut.
- BE SAFE: It’s important to remember that the national forests are wild. It can be easy to lose your way in the snow, especially when you’re focused on finding a perfect tree, so prepare yourself as you would to hike off-trail, with emergency supplies and warm clothing.
Last but not least, if you’re cutting down your own Christmas tree this year, send Oregon Forests Forever a picture for #PhotoFriday!