Outdoors

Nov 29, 2010 7:40 AM by Greg Boyce

Christmas tree cutting permits available

Christmas tree cutting permits will go on sale at the Pike National Forest District Office on November 29.

The cost is $10 per tree.  The permits will be sold through December 15.  The District Office is at 601 S. Weber Street in Colorado Springs.  Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Permits will also be sold in Woodland Park on the weekends, December 4 and 5, and Dec. 11 and 12 at the east parking lot of the Woodland Park Middle School on the corner of Rampart Range Road and Kelley Road.

The cutting area is approximately 12,000 acres and located just north and east of Woodland Park on the Rampart Range Road. Trees may be cut from November 29  through December 15. A map of the area is included with the permit.

All trees are native and are not as full or ideally formed as those sold at commercial lots.  Trees are of various species including: lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, and Engelmann spruce. The maximum size allowed is 6 inches in diameter.

According to District Ranger Brent Botts, "Tree cutters should not be too selective, but take satisfaction in removing these smaller trees.  It promotes a healthy forest and reduces the fire danger. We are expecting to sell close to 6,000 permits."

You should allow at least four hours for your tree cutting adventure. Chain saws are not allowed; a hand saw or axe will be adequate. Cutters should be prepared for winter conditions, dress warmly. It is best to use a 4-wheel drive vehicles and chains are required on several roads.

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