COLORADO — 'Tis the season to cut your own Christmas tree if you are planning to this year. We've put together what you need to know if you are getting your own tree this season.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, there are 11 national forests and two grasslands in Colorado you can choose from to pick your perfect tree.
You need a tree permit in order to get your own tree and you can purchase one at a National Forest office.
Here in southern Colorado, two national forests we have nearby is the San Isabel National Forest and the Pike National Forest.
San Isabel National Forest:
If you need a permit, you can buy one from their National Forest offices in Pueblo, Salida, Canon City or Leadville on weekdays.
You can also mail in a request, but the Forest Service says it is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The last date you can mail in a request is Dec. 16. with a check made out to the U.S. Forest Service. You must include a self-address stamped envelope.
It costs $10 per tree with a maximum of two trees per household. You're allowed to cut trees throughout the forest except for campgrounds, trailheads, ski areas, wilderness areas and recreation areas.
The permit has to be fastened to the trees before taking it off forest grounds.
When you cut a tree, you are asked to cut at the ground and "unused portions should be scattered."
Since the forest roads are not plowed, four-wheel drive, high-clearance and/or chains might be necessary.
Pike National Forest:
Permits are still being sold during the weekends this month at the Woodland Park Work Center for $20 per tree.
The center only accepts cash and check on the weekend.
There is a limit of five trees per person and the permit must be attached to the tree and clearly visible.
You have until Dec. 18 to cut a tree on National Forest areas northeast of Woodland Park along Rampart Range Road, according the the U.S. Forest Service. You may also get your tree northwest of Woodland Park on Forest Service Road 357.
When you purchase a permit, a map will come with it showing any restrictions.
Click here for more information on other available areas in Colorado you can visit to get your tree for Christmas.