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Christmas Tree Cutting Permits

Get Your Own Christmas Tree and have a Great Family Outing

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You can get Christmas tree cutting permits from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to go get a tree on nearby public land. Some cutting areas, like the Lake Tahoe Basin, are close to the Reno region. Others are a bit further afield.

In support of the Every Kid Outdoors program, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will offer one free Christmas tree permit to fourth-grade students who present a valid Every Kid Outdoors pass.

After your tree has served through the Christmas season, you can make sure it is properly disposed of by participating in the "Christmas Tree Recycling in the Reno and Sparks Area" program.

Christmas Tree Cutting Permits for the Lake Tahoe Basin

Begins Monday, November 6, 2023. Cutting a Christmas tree offers families a traditional holiday experience and the USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is pleased to announce the sale of Christmas tree permits. Permits will be sold in-person only at the South Lake Tahoe Forest Supervisor's office at 35 College Drive. Permits cost $10 each, with a limit of one permit per family or household. The Forest Supervisor's office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays. Permits must be purchased by the individual cutting the tree and are not transferable. Permits will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis during regular business hours while supplies last. Cutting under these permits will be allowed until December 31, to accommodate military families and others who may need to celebrate a delayed Christmas.

Forest and mountains near Lake Tahoe
Photo © Stan White

Christmas Tree Permits for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) will be selling Christmas tree cutting permits in person, by phone and online at for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest starting on November 1 (or the first business day thereafter) and ending on December 24 each year. Visit the website for details on permit cost and how many trees may be cut - both vary between districts. Permits allow you to cut Christmas trees within designated areas of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Participating areas include the Carson, Bridgeport, Austin-Tonapah, Ely, and Mountain City/Ruby Mountains/Jarbidge Ranger Districts. For additional details, maps of cutting areas and to purchase your permit online, go to "Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Christmas Tree Permit."

Visit the website for details on other ways to purchase permits from various ranger district offices. There are also private business vendors selling permits.

All fourth grade students are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit, while supplies last, through the Every Kid Outdoors initiative. To be eligible for a free Christmas tree permit from the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, all fourth graders must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and present their fourth grade pass or paper voucher. This free Christmas tree permit program also applies to the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Christmas Tree Permits for the Tahoe National Forest

Permits are sold online. They allow you to cut a Christmas tree within designated areas of the Tahoe National Forest. Permits are specific to ranger districts within the Tahoe National Forest. On the website, be sure you select the correct area for where you plan to cut your tree. Available areas are the Sierraville, American River, Yuba River and Truckee Ranger Districts. Permits are available starting on November 7, 2023. The maximum number of trees you can cut is 2 at $10 per tree. For additional details, maps of cutting areas and to purchase your permit online, go to "Tahoe National Forest Christmas Tree Permits."

Christmas Tree Permits for the Plumas National Forest

Permits are sold online. They allow you to cut a Christmas tree within designated areas of the Plumas National Forest. Certain designated special areas are prohibited (see cutting maps) as are fire closure areas. Permits are good from Wednesday, November 1 through Sunday, December 31, 2023. The maximum number of trees you can cut is 2 at $10 per tree. For additional details, maps of cutting areas and to purchase your permit online, go to "Plumas National Forest Christmas Tree Permit."

Christmas Tree Permits from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Permits from the Nevada BLM Carson City District are available starting Tuesday, November 14, 2023, and valid from date of purchase through December 25, 2023. Permits are for pinyon pine or juniper trees only are $5 each and limited to 10 per person. When you purchase a permit, maps and directions will be provided. To purchase a Christmas tree permit online, visit "Forest Product Permit System" and search for Nevada, Carson City District Office.

You can get BLM permits in person from these other locations during the hours listed.

BLM Carson City District Office
5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701
(775) 885-6000
Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

BLM Nevada State Office
1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, NV 89520-0006
(775) 861-6500
Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cal Ranch
2035 N. Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89706
(775) 461-2213
Monday - Saturday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce
1477 US Highway 395 North, Suite A, Gardnerville, NV 89410
(775) 782-8144
Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed 12 noon to 1 p.m.

UNR Cooperative Extension Office - Fallon
111 Shekler Road, Fallon, NV
(775) 423-5121
Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Middlegate Station
42500 U.S. Highway 50 (48 miles east of Fallon)
(775) 423-7134
Daily: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Consolidated Agencies of Human Services - Hawthorne
924 5th Street, Hawthorne, NV 89415
(775) 945-2471
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Be Prepared for Winter Conditions

Wherever you go Christmas tree cutting, bring your own saws and other equipment. In case you encounter bad road conditions or stormy weather, be sure to bring warm clothing, a first aid kit, extra food and water, heavy rope or chain, a shovel, and tire chains. If you get stuck, it could be a while before someone finds you and cell phones may not work in remote areas. Be sure to check the weather forecast and highway conditions to make sure roads to your intended location are open. Consult your maps to insure you are on BLM land.

Free Christmas Tree Permits for 4th Graders

Free BLM Christmas tree permits are available to Nevada fourth graders as part of the U.S. Department of Interior's "Every Kid Outdoors" program. Students must have a valid 4th Grade Pass or paper voucher obtained from the program website.

Sources: Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service.

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