Extreme Sports: Christmas Tree Hunting

Every year, by Dec. 25 or ideally a little sooner, you need to get that perfect Christmas tree set up in your house. Although sometimes it seems easy to simply blow this task off and settle for taking the easy way out, Christmas tree hunting is a serious, important part of every successful Christmas season. Here is a guide to making your tree agree with your style.

Bigger trees are better: While you are reading this article, you already have this tree because it is December, and you are on top of things. If the roof is nine feet high, the tree must be at least eight feet tall. If the roof is 40 feet high, the tree must be at least 39 feet tall. A tree that doesn’t conform to these standards is unacceptably short. There is no reason to have a tree any shorter than it can be — no excuses. As far as girth, if there is space in the room, it should be filled with Christmas tree. This tree should be so full, you would never know that a squirrel was hiding in it, nor would the squirrel know he was living in your house. If this tree is not perfect, it is unacceptable and a new one must be found immediately.

The Charlie Brown Christmas tree: It is Dec. 24 and you still don’t have a tree, looking out into your backyard, you see a stick with enough branches to hold up one ornament. This tree may be small with only a few branches, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have Christmas spirit! Take that tree and make it look as good as possible because at this point, you are out of options.

The lazy tree: Turns out, you can just go to the store and buy a tree! For a price, someone will do all the work, and you don’t have to do anything. This tree will probably look pretty nice, but can vary based on where you bought it and how much you paid for it. One way or another, by the time Christmas rolls around you have a tree. If you desire truly capture the essence of the lazy tree, try buying a fake tree that you can store after Christmas. That way, when next year rolls around, you can be even lazier and not even have to go buy one!

The standard tree: This tree is special — it represents an effort to live the Christmas spirit by getting your tree in a timely fashion and getting the tree that works for you. Go out with friends or family and have fun cutting your tree. Bring it back and decorate it with ornaments and lights.

There is a Christmas tree for everyone, a way to express how you celebrate your Christmas.  The important part is to make sure you have fun, however you go about acquiring your tree.  Remember to be safe and only cut down the trees legal for you to cut down.  Merry Christmas!

Christmas Tree Permits

Each year from mid-November through December, your local Forest Service Office sells permits that allow you to cut a fresh Christmas tree on National Forest Lands. Fees for the permit vary at each local office. The permit allows you to cut one tree for your holiday festivities. It also helps the Forest Service thin tree stands that have a concentration of smaller trees.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) issue permits for the cutting of Christmas trees. Each agency has rules specific to this activity and inquiries pertaining to cutting of Christmas trees on USFS lands will be referred to the appropriate USFS office.

A Christmas tree permit is required in order to cut Christmas trees from BLM administered lands for both personal use and commercial use. Not all BLM field offices issue permits, and those that do do not necessarily issue permits every year. Your local BLM office will be able to provide you with information on the requirements and availability of Christmas tree permits for their area.

Each BLM office may set a price on the Christmas trees they sell, based on the local market conditions in their area. The lowest price that they may sell Christmas trees for is established by the State Minimum Price List, which is currently $3.00 per tree.

Information about permits courtesy of www.fs.usda.gov and www.blm.gov.