How do you reduce wildfire risk and increase holiday cheer? By obtaining a Christmas Tree Permit, of course! Removing small-diameter trees from selected areas reduces wildfire risk by reducing over-growth, particularly among firs. Tahoe National Forest and Plumas National Forest have opened their tree-cutting programs for the season. Species available to cut are pine, fir, or cedar.
Tahoe National Forest
Tahoe National Forest Christmas Tree Permits are valid from November 7th through December 31st and can be obtained on Recreation.gov's website.
The cost is $10 per tree, and the maximum number of trees is two. The permits are available for the American River Ranger District, Sierraville Ranger District, Truckee Ranger District, and Yuba River Ranger District. Specified cutting areas can be found on the maps for each Ranger District. Remember to keep vehicles on National Forest System roads and park safely off the roadway in legal areas. No off-road travel is allowed.
Plan ahead so that you know what size tree you need and have the tools necessary to get the job done. Keep in mind the permit stipulations for Tahoe National Forest: the maximum tree height is 20 feet, the maximum stump height is 12 inches, and the maximum stump diameter is 6 inches. Do not cut isolated trees growing in the open; take the whole tree, not just the top. Remove snow on the ground so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height.
Plumas National Forest
Plumas National Forest also offers Christmas Tree Permits if you plan to go further afield. These are available from November 1st through December 31st and can also be obtained on Recreation.gov's website.
The cost is $10 per tree, and the maximum number of trees is two. Additional stipulations for Plumas National Forest include: trees must be less than 6 inches in diameter (measured at ground level), stump heights must be less than 12 inches, and no live branches should be left remaining on the stump. Remove snow on the ground so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height.