As you are enjoying your turkey sandwich and other leftovers, thoughts turn to the next holiday and the centerpiece – the tree. There’s been much discussion about “shortages” and such. With an abundance of trees growing all around us, much is private timber land. If you are thinking about cutting your own, your best option might be to head to the Siuslaw National Forest in South Tillamook County. Here’s some helpful information from the National Forest Service.
Christmas tree permits are now available for purchase from the Siuslaw National Forest and will be available through Dec. 31, 2021. Visit www.recreation.gov to purchase a permit online or call one of the district ranger offices to purchase a permit over the phone.
Christmas tree permits cost $5 each with an additional $2.50 fee per transaction when purchased online. Cutting trees in some areas of the Siuslaw is prohibited; tree hunters should check maps provided with permits prior to selecting their tree.
Fourth-graders with Every Kid Outdoors passes are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit. They can apply for the permit through Recreation.gov, by entering a voucher or pass number when prompted. A $2.50 registration fee will also be applied for this transaction. For more information about the pass—which also provides students and their families free admittance into some national forest recreation sites, national parks, and other federal public lands—visit everykidoutdoors.gov.
Christmas Tree Guidance and Safety Tips
• Determine which national forest you want to visit and check maps for potential locations.
• Purchase a permit at www.recreation.gov, vendor, or a national forest office.
• Check the weather forecast and road conditions before traveling.
• Start tree hunting early in the day to have plenty of daylight hours.
• Bring emergency supplies and a rope and tarp to move your tree to your vehicle.
• Remember to tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
• Bring a map and compass. Your cell phone may not work on many forests.
• The tree you choose must be at least 200 feet from main roads, recreation sites, and campgrounds. Stay away from areas along the sides of streams, rivers, and lakes.
Visit our Siuslaw National Forest website at https://go.usa.gov/xeUSd for more information on Christmas tree permits. To purchase a permit by phone, contact the Hebo Ranger District at (503) 392-5100 or the Central Coast Ranger District at (541) 563-8400.