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Forest Christmas Tree Permits Now On Sale

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Sonora, CA – The Stanislaus National Forest began selling Christmas tree permits today, but you cannot chop down and take the evergreen home until December 1st.

This is the second year that the forest has required permits. The reason for the delay in cutting down a Christmas tree is that farm owners in the area asked that the cutting be delayed through the Thanksgiving Holiday, which is typically the highest grossing weekend for Christmas Tree Farms,” according to forest officials.

“While we are excited to offer this opportunity, we’re also mindful of the impact on our local small business community and found a way to work together. We want our local communities to thrive, and we remain committed to that goal,” explained Jason Kuiken, Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor.

The permits are free and available through, click here, with a maximum of two trees per permit and one permit per household. The online site charges a $2.50 processing fee. The number of permits being issued has also been limited to 7,500. The site provides information like cutting area maps, types of trees to cut, and other important planning tips. The actual permit also contains information and guidance on how and where to harvest a tree.

Two areas where cutting trees is prohibited are the designated wilderness areas and the Experimental Forest. Permit holders are also asked not to cut any Christmas trees from any Forest Service administrative site (offices, campgrounds, or other facilities, etc.).

Finally, when you do head into the forest to get a tree, forest officials remind you to display your permit on your vehicle’s dashboard.

Of note, tree permits for the El Dorado National Forest went on sale three days before Halloween, and in less than six days they were sold out.