Forest Service offers online Christmas tree permits

A fully decorated Christmas tree harvested off the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont. Photo provided
A fully decorated Christmas tree harvested off the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont. Photo provided

RUTLAND, Vt. – U.S. Forest Service officials in Vermont are welcoming the public to select and cut a Christmas tree on the Green Mountain National Forest with the purchase of a permit. Permits are now available for purchase either online or in-person at our GMNF offices in Manchester or Rochester, Vt. In support of the Every Kid Outdoors initiative, this year the Forest Service will provide fourth grade students with a free Christmas tree voucher by registering here at Fourth graders who register must present a printed voucher to redeem a Christmas tree permit. Christmas trees for personal use may be cut on the GMNF, subject to conditions: permits must be purchased online or in-person, two permits are allowed per household per year, and the tree obtained under the permit may not be resold.

Trees may only be cut within designated areas as indicated in maps. The permit does not cover trees over 20 feet tall, and the tree must be cut at a point no higher than 6 inches off the ground. Permit holders must remove all trash and litter resulting from their activities. This includes removing all woody debris from road surfaces, ditches, and culvert openings where cutting took place.

Permit is not valid in Congressionally-designated wilderness areas; active timber sale areas; and developed recreation sites including campgrounds, picnic areas, and day use sites; and the following management areas as designated by the 2006 Forest Plan: Ecological Special Areas, Existing and Candidate Research Natural Areas, Alpine/subalpine Special Areas, and the Robert Frost Recreation Special Area.

Permit must be attached to the tree before transporting it from the site where it was cut.

Before you leave home, be sure to measure the space where you plan to place the tree in your home and measure the space in your vehicle where you will be transporting the tree. Cell service may be spotty or unavailable. Be sure someone knows where you are and when to expect you back.

Check the latest weather conditions, forest warnings and road closures before you leave on your trip.

Bring a map with you. Don’t rely on GPS because it may not be up to date with Forest Service roads. Roads may not be plowed. Carry tire chains, shovels, and a tow chain. Be sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas. Bring a spare key and give it to someone else in your party. Don’t get locked out of your car. Park in areas so that traffic can get by safely, and do not block gates.

Dress warmly and take extra dry clothes. Expect winter weather, including cold temperatures, snow and winds. Start your day early. Be sure to find your tree and leave the woods before dark.

For more information, go to

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