St George News

Cut your own Christmas tree, permits, rules & safety tips; Dixie, Fishlake and Kaibab National Forests

SOUTHERN UTAH - As the holiday season approaches, many families will be heading into Utah’s national forests to cut their own Christmas tree. Be sure to buy a permit first and follow these tips from the United States Forest Service to keep your winter adventure fun and safe.

Tree cutting rules

  • Trees must be cut close to the ground, leaving the stump no higher than six inches.
  • Make sure your permit is attached to the tree before you remove it from the cutting area.
  • Cutting is prohibited within 200 feet of lakes, streams, roads, campgrounds, picnic areas, administrative sites and summer home areas.
  • Tree topping is prohibited.

Tree cutting safety tips

  • Stay on designated roads and trails.
  • Contact your local ranger district to find out about road conditions and closures.
  • Be prepared for slippery and snow-packed roads. Take a vehicle with four-wheel-drive capability or chains.
  • Let someone know where you are planning to go and the approximate time you should return.
  • Dress appropriately in warm clothing, gloves and boots.
  • Carry a cell phone, flashlight, water, snacks and a first aid kit.
  • Take an ax, hatchet or handsaw strong enough to cut the size of tree you want.
  • Take rope to secure your tree to a trailer or vehicle.

Tree permits are for personal use and can only be purchased using cash or checks. Restrictions vary in each ranger district.

Dixie National Forest

Cedar City Ranger District: Permits go on sale Tuesday and can be obtained at the Cedar City Ranger District and Hurst Ace Hardware in Cedar City. Permits for trees up to 10-feet-tall cost $10 and permits for trees 11 to 20-feet-tall cost $20. Each household can only purchase one permit and cut a maximum of two trees.

The only species that can be cut are Sub-Alpine Fir, White Fir and Pinyon Pine. The Cedar City Ranger District can be contacted at 435-865-3700.

Escalante Ranger District: Permits go on sale Tuesday and can be purchased at the Escalante Ranger District in Escalante and at Antimony Mercantile in Antimony. Permits for any size tree cost $10. Each household can only purchase one permit and cut one tree.

All species can be cut, except Bristlecone Pine. The Escalante Ranger District can be contacted at 435-826-5400.

Powell Ranger District: Permits are currently available and can be purchased at the Powell Ranger District in Panguitch or via mail. Permits for trees up to 10-feet-tall cost $10 and permits for trees 11 to 20-feet-tall cost $20.

All species can be cut, except Bristlecone Pine. The Powell Ranger District can be contacted at 435-676-9300.

St. George Interagency Visitor Center: Permits are currently available and can be purchased at the Visitor Center in St. George or at Veyo Mercantile in Veyo. Permits for any size tree cost $10; one household can purchase a maximum of five permits.

Pinyon Pine and Juniper are the only species that can be cut. The St. George Interagency Visitor Center can be contacted at 435-688-3246.

Fishlake National Forest

Beaver Ranger District: Permits are currently available and can be purchased at the Beaver Ranger District, Beaver Sport and Pawn and the Piute County Sheriff’s Office in Junction. Permits for any size tree cost $10. Each household may purchase a maximum of two.

All species can be cut, except Ponderosa Pine and Blue Spruce. The Beaver Ranger District can be contacted at 435-896-9233.

Fillmore Ranger District: Permits go on sale Nov. 13 and can be purchased at the Fillmore Ranger District. Permits for any size tree cost $10. Only one permit per household.

All species can be cut, except Ponderosa Pine. The Fillmore Ranger District can be contacted at 435-743-5721.

Fremont River Ranger District: Permits are currently available and can be purchased at the Fremont River Ranger District in Loa. Permits for any size tree cost $10. Only one permit per household.

On the Fishlake National Forest portion of the district, any species of tree can be cut except for Ponderosa Pine and Bristlecone Pine. On the Dixie National Forest portion, any species can be cut except for Ponderosa Pine. The Fremont River Ranger District can be contacted at 435-836-2811.

Richfield Ranger District: Permits go on sale Nov. 15 and can be purchased at the Richfield Ranger District and Larson Ace Hardware in Richfield and Don’s Sinclair in Salina. Permits for any size tree cost $10. Only one permit per household.

All species can be cut except Ponderosa Pine, Engleman and Blue Spruce. The Richfield Ranger District can be contacted at 435-896-9233.

Kaibab National Forest

North Kaibab Ranger District: Permits go on sale Nov. 17 and are available at the Fredonia district office, Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center or by mail. Permits for any size tree cost $15, with a limit of one tree per household.

Tree species authorized for cutting include Blue and Engleman Spruce, Douglas, Sub-Alpine and White Fir, Pinyon and Ponderosa Pine and Utah and Rocky Mountain Juniper. The North Kaibab Ranger District can be contacted at 928-643-7395.

For more information on tree cutting on Bureau of Land Management lands, contact the BLM State Office at 801-539-4001. For more information on tree cutting on Utah State Lands, call at 801-538-7302.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Submitted by: Kathy Jo Pollock and Patrick Lair, Public Affairs Specialist, North Kaibab Ranger District, Kaibab National Forest

  2 Comments
  1. debbie November 6, 2012 at 8:00 am · Reply

    now see, i wasn’t even thinking about this.. now i am … a fresh christmas tree sounds like a winning idea this year.

  2. Jeb November 6, 2012 at 11:05 am · Reply

    I just go out there and cut me a tree if it’s a good one. I don’t pay nobody to do it on account of it’s nature.

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