Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

Updated: Dec 27, 2018

Instead of going to a big box store or buying a tree from the back of someone’s truck, why not why go out in the wilderness and cut your own tree?



The day after #Thanksgiving, people start thinking about #Christmas (if they haven’t already) and the centerpiece of Christmas is the Christmas tree. With millions of acres of public land, Colorado is the perfect place to harvest your own tree and possibly start a family tradition while you're at it.


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Forest Service both offer people the opportunity to go out into the incredible wealth of public land and find a Christmas tree that is perfect for you.


You will need to purchase a permit and there are variations of rules by location, so depending on where you live the date permits go on sale, the type of tree you can cut (including the maximum height and diameter of the trunk), where you can cut, and the price for the permit all vary. The easiest way to find out all of this information is to call your local BLM or National Forest Service field office.


To find your local BLM office click here; to find your local Forest Service field office click here.

The Forest Service offers free trees to fourth graders as part of the the "Every Kid in a Park" program. Go to EveryKidinPark.gov,  complete the voucher and bring the voucher or the durable pass to a Forest Service office to receive a one holiday tree permit free-of-charge!


Here are some common sense suggestions to follow when you go to cut your tree.

And be sure to check for local weather and travel advisory information.


  • Four-wheel drive vehicle or chains

  • Full tank of gas

  • Handsaw, axe, eye protection, shovel for digging snow

  • Tarp, rope or tie-downs

  • Dress appropriately for winter weather. Sled and snowshoes are advisable at higher elevations

  • First-aid kit, food, extra water, blanket, warm liquids

  • Be cautious/avoid areas with dead/dying trees that may fall without warning while cutting Christmas trees

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