This is what you need to know to go hunting the perfect Christmas tree to cut down

A couple drags their freshly cut Christmas tree out of a forest. Location and date not specified. | Photo courtesy of Carole Montgomery, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – For many, a holiday home doesn’t begin to take shape until they have headed outdoors to chop down and haul home the perfect Christmas tree. In Southern Utah and northeastern Arizona, trees may be found in the national forests and public lands, provided you follow the land management agencies’ guidelines and obtain proper permits.

A beautiful tree awaits Christmas tree hunters up Cedar Canyon in Dixie National Forest, Utah, Nov. 23, 2014 | Photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

The BLM-Utah is selling noncommercial permits to cut pinyon pine, juniper and fir trees, depending upon the location. Start dates vary but most are on sale now.

The U.S. Forest Service is also selling permits to cut most types of trees, with some exceptions depending upon the location.

Forest Service rules state that trees must always be cut close to the ground leaving the stump no higher than 6 inches. Tree topping is not allowed.

A shovel will come in handy to dig through the snow to reach the base of the tree. Make sure your permit is attached to the tree before leaving the cutting area.

No cutting is allowed within 200 feet of lakes and streams, roads, campgrounds, picnic areas, administrative sites, summer home areas, or within designated closed areas shown on tree cutting maps.

Those hunting trees above Cedar City are asked to stay away from the Brian Head burn scar areas.

Winter weather conditions in the mountains are unpredictable, so the BLM  and USFS urge those heading out for the perfect tree always be prepared. Stay on designated roads and trails and respect private property boundaries. Be prepared for slick, snow-packed roads and carry chains. The agencies recommend a four-wheel drive vehicle or a snow machine in many locations. Let someone know where you are planning to go and the approximate time you will return.

Maps are available for purchase at most offices listed below or in some cases online for the particular region.

Remember to carry a cell phone, bring additional warm clothing, gloves, boots, a container of hot liquid, water and a lunch or snack.  Carry a flashlight, shovel, first-aid kit, matches, a hatchet, axe or handsaw, and rope to secure your tree.

The listing below provides detail on Southern Utah regions including where to obtaining permits. Resources for other areas in the state are included at the close of this report.

Permits for public lands managed by the BLM

Permits are available for purchase during regular business hours, excluding federal holidays, at the following locations:

St. George Field Office 
Dates: Nov. 13 – Dec. 22
Cost: $10 each with a limit of two per household
Type: Pinyon Pine
Where to purchase permits: St. George Field Office, 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George
For more information: 435-688-3200

Cedar City Field Office 
Dates: On sale now through Dec. 22
Cost: $10 each with a limit of two per household
Type: Juniper, Pinyon Pine and White Fir
Where to purchase permits: Cedar City Field Office, 176 East D.L. Sargent Drive, Cedar City
For more information: 435-865-3000

Kanab Field Office 
Dates: On sale now through Dec. 22
Cost: $10 each with a limit of two per household
Type: Juniper and Pinyon Pine
Where to purchase permits: Kanab Field Office, 669 South Highway 89 A, Kanab
For more information: 435-644-1200

Moab Field Office
Dates:  On sale now through Dec. 22
Cost:  $10 each with a limit of two per household
Type:  Pinyon Pine
Where to purchase permits:  Moab Field Office, 82 East Dogwood Moab
For more information:  435-259-2100

Fillmore Field Office
Dates:  On sale now through Dec. 22
Cost:  $10 each with a limit of three per household
Type:  Juniper and Pinyon Pine
Where to purchase permits:  Fillmore Field Office, 95 East 500 North, Fillmore | Salt Lake Field Office, 2370 South Decker Lake Blvd., Salt Lake City
For more information:  435-743-3100

Monticello Field Office 
Dates:  On sale now through Dec. 22
Cost:  $10 each with a limit of two per household
Type:  Pinyon Pine and Juniper
Where to purchase permits:  Monticello Field Office, 365 North Main, Monticello
For more information:  435-587-1500 

Permits for lands in national forests

Dixie National Forest

St. George public lands information center
Dates: On sale beginning Nov. 13, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost:  $10 each with a limit of five tags per person; cash or check required.
Type:  Juniper and Pinyon pines only.
Where to purchase permits:  345 E. Riverside Dr., St. George.
For more information:  435-688-3200.

Veyo Mercantile
Dates: On sale beginning Nov. 13, Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost:  $10 each with a limit of five tags per person; cash or check required.
Type:  Juniper and Pinyon pines only.
Where to purchase permits:  13 N. Main St., Veyo
For more information:  435-574-2749

Cedar City Ranger District
Dates: On sale now, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost:  $10 for a tree up to 10 feet and $20.00 for a tree 11 feet to 20 feet, one permit per household, and two trees maximum.
Type:  Sub-alpine fir, white fir, pinyon pine and juniper.
Where to purchase permits:  1789 N. Wedgewood Lane, Cedar City
For more information:  435-865-3200. Check with the Cedar City Ranger District office before traveling to obtain the most current road condition information and please avoid entering into the Brian Head wildfire burned area.

Hurst Ace Hardware Store
Dates: On sale now, store operating hours.
Cost:  $10 for a tree up to 10 feet and $20.00 for a tree 11 feet to 20 feet, one permit per household, and two trees maximum.
Type:  Sub-alpine fir, white fir, pinyon pine and juniper.
Where to purchase permits:  165 S. Main St., Cedar City
For more information:  435-865-9335. Check with the Cedar City Ranger District office before traveling to obtain the most current road condition information and please avoid entering into the Brian Head wildfire burned area.

Escalante Ranger District
Dates: On sale now, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cost:  $10, one permit per household, one tree only.
Type:  All species of tree may be cut except bristlecone pine.
Where to purchase permits:  755 W. Main, Escalante
For more information:  435-826-5400

Antimony Merc
Dates: On sale now, 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost:  $10, one permit per household, one tree only.
Type:  All species of tree may be cut except bristlecone pine.
Where to purchase permits:  70 UT-22, Antimony
For more information:  435-624-3253

Powell Ranger District
Dates: Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cost:  $10 for a tree up to 10 feet and $20.00 for a tree 11 feet to 20 feet.
Type:  All species of tree may be cut, except bristlecone pine.
Where to purchase permits:  225 E. Center St., Panguitch
For more information:  435-826-5400.

Fishlake National Forest

Beaver Ranger District
Dates: On sale now, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost:  $10 each, must be purchased in person.
Type:  All species of tree except ponderosa pine and blue spruce.
Restricted area: Tree cutting is not allowed in the Merchant Valley Summer Home area or along the visible edge of state Route 153.
Where to purchase permits:  575 S. Main St., Beaver or at the following locations:

Beaver Sports and Pawn, 91 North Main, Beaver, Utah, Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fishlake Lumber 1627 N Hwy 357, Beaver, Utah, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Piute County Sheriff Office, 550 N. Main, Junction, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Don’s Sinclair, 215 W Main, Salina, Monday-Saturday.

Larsen’s Ace hardware, 1155 S US Hwy 118, Richfield, Monday-Saturday.

Jorgensen’s, 980 S Cove View Road, Richfield, Monday-Saturday.

For more information:  435-438-2436.

Fillmore Ranger District
Dates: On sale now, Monday-Friday through December 22 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., also open Saturday, Nov. 18, Nov. 25 and Dec. 2 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Cost:  $10 each, must be purchased in person, one permit per household.
Restricted area: Tree cutting is not allowed in Oak Creek Canyon.
Suggested cutting areas include Whiskey Creek, John Williams Canyon, Chalk Creek, Meadow Creek, Cove Fort,Willow Creek and Wild Goose Canyon.
Where to purchase permits:  390 S. Main St., Fillmore.
For more information:  435-743-5721.

Kaibab National Forest

North Kaibab Ranger District
Dates: On sale Nov. 16-Dec. 24 until tags run out (800 tags allotted); Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding holidays, Saturdays Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost:  $15 for one tree not more than 10 feet, cash or check.
Type:  All species.
Where to purchase permits: 430 S. Main St., Fredonia, Arizona | By mail: P.O. Box 248, Fredonia, AZ 86022.
For more information: 928-643-7395

Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center
Dates: On sale Nov. 18-19 and Nov. 25-26, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until tags for North Kaibab Ranger District run out (800 tags allotted).
Cost:  $15 for one tree not more than 10 feet, cash or check.
Type:  All species.
Where to purchase: At the intersection of Highways 89 and 67 in Jacob Lake, Arizona.
For more information: 928-643-7298.

Recycling Program

Place your tree in a sheet or old blanket for recycling.  Please contact the Vernal Field Office for details. Trees in plastic bags cannot be recycled.

Resources

For areas not listed in this report, consult the following webpages:

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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3 Comments

  • DRT November 12, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Seems to me that it makes more sense to just go to Hurst Ace Hardware, and by one. We bought a beautiful Colorado Blue Spruce there in ’97. It’s still as beautiful as it was new. Doesn’t need water, and isn’t a fire hazard.
    I’ll admit that the wife had to talk hard to me, as I liked going up and cutting my own. But the stars were not aligned properly that year, and I just didn’t have the time to deal with it. I’ve never regretted this decision.

  • utahdiablo November 12, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Yeah, we tried this 10 years ago, and then it was almost impossible to find a tree 200 feet from the road, lake, picnic area that was ok to cut…no thanks, I’ll save the gas and bother and buy from Star for $20

  • Billy Madison November 13, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    So many rules, and each area is different. How is a person supposed to legally cut a tree without making one little mistake and end up with a fine and record. Thanks, but no thanks.

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