Purchase your tree permit online or from National Forest Offices and local vendors

information & photo released by the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Holiday season is just around the corner, and for those individuals wanting to cut their Christmas tree from the national forest there are three options for obtaining a Christmas tree permit. Permits may be purchased online through Recreation.gov, at some Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest offices, and from local vendors.

To purchase a Christmas tree permit online, go to Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests Christmas Tree Permit in Washington – Recreation.gov.  It is important to carefully read the overview and need-to-know information prior to purchasing the permit. Permits purchased online have to be printed to be valid and must be with you when removing your tree.

Christmas tree permits cost $5 each (if purchased online there is an additional $2.50 charged for the reservation/transaction fee). Each tree permit allows a family to cut one tree, with a tree height limit of 15 feet, or dig a small live transplant tree. Permits are limited to two permits per household. The permits are non-refundable and are only good on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Christmas trees cannot be harvested in Wilderness areas, campgrounds, developed recreation areas, or tree plantations.

High clearance 4-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for driving on national forest roads during the winter months. Please check conditions ahead of time, as many forest roads are already closed due to early snow. Remember to leave early in the day to allow for maximum daylight. Also, be prepared for all types of weather. It’s also a good idea to bring traction devices for cars, a shovel, warm clothing, blankets, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. Don’t forget to bring a saw to cut down the tree, a tarp to wrap around the tree, and a rope to secure the tarp in place on your vehicle.

Free tree permits are available to fourth graders as part of the national Every Kid Outdoors initiative. Fourth graders with a valid Every Kid Outdoors pass can get one free holiday tree cutting permit from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. In order for students to receive a free tree permit, they must present an Every Kid Outdoors pass or a valid paper voucher printed from the Every Kid Outdoors website (https://everykidoutdoors.gov/index.htm). Please note, not all national forest offices are open daily, so be sure to call before visiting offices.

Traditional permits may be purchased in person from the Chelan, Entiat, Methow Valley, Wenatchee River, and Cle Elum Ranger District offices. Be sure to check their hours of operation at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/about-forest/offices.

Naches Ranger District office will not be selling Christmas tree permits this season.

There are many vendors selling national forest Christmas tree permits. A list of vendors is posted here.

For more information about the Christmas tree program on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, please contact local ranger district offices or visit the forest website

Be aware, some Forest Service roads are a part of the Washington State Sno-Park system and are closed to wheeled vehicle traffic and groomed for winter recreation. A Sno-Park permit may be required to park at a Sno-Park beginning Dec. 1. Check the forest website or call ranger district offices for information on roads or suggestions on where to go for your tree.