FREE Christmas Trees in NH: How to legally cut a FREE Christmas Tree in NH!

NH Personal Finance Articles: FREE NH Christmas Trees


FREE NH Christmas Trees
There IS a catch: The permit costs $5

by Dan Crawford

Do you shudder when you see that silver foil Christmas tree in Wal-Mart? Do you prefer the real McCoy, even if it's the meager tree that needs love in A Charlie Brown Christmas?

For a $5 permit fee, you can cut a tree for your home in the White Mountain National Forest: you'll surely have a wider selection than the big box stores, and the smell of fresh evergreen will do wonders for your holiday spirit.

Start a memorable and heartfelt tradition in your home by braving the elements, and selecting and harvesting your own tree. There are specific requirements (it's the Feds, for goodness sake).
•   A permit can be purchased with cash or check made out to the 'US Forest Service' (no credit cards)

•   Trees are for personal use only, not for resale.

•   Each family may cut one tree per permit.

•   Use only hand tools to cut Christmas trees. Chainsaws are not permitted.

•   Make sure you are on National Forest land. Respect the rights of landowners when crossing private property.

•   Do not cut trees in or near campgrounds, picnic areas, Experimental Forests, Wilderness, active timber sales, or within 100' of a state highway. Ask if there are any known "off limit" areas.

•   Do not cut trees larger than 8" in diameter at chest height. Pack down limb piles low enough so they are within 2' of the ground. Scatter limbs and wood at least 25 feet away from roads, streams, hiking trails, and property boundaries.

•   Cut your tree so remaining stumps will be less than 10" in height.

•   Tree tags may be used as temporary Recreation Passes. Place the tag prominently on the dashboard while searching for a tree. Once the tree is at the vehicle, the tree must be tagged before transporting.
You will need a permit to cut any Christmas tree in the National Forest. These can be purchased for $5 at any of the Forest offices: (Please note that some offices are only staffed seasonally so do call ahead!)

Forest Headquarters
71 White Mountain Drive
Campton, NH 03223
(603) 536-6100 Main Desk
(603) 536-3665 TTY

Pemigewasset Ranger District
71 White Mountain Drive
Campton, NH 03223
(603) 536-6100 Main Desk
(603) 536-3665 TTY

White Mountain Visitor Center
I-93, Exit 32
200 Kancamagus Highway
North Woodstock, NH
(603) 745-3816

Lincoln Woods
Kancamagus Highway
Lincoln, NH
(603) 630-5190
Note: Intermittent Staffing

Androscoggin Ranger District
300 Glen Road
Gorham, NH 03581-1399
(603) 466-2713 x 0 Main Office
(603) 466-2856 TTY

Saco Ranger District
33 Kancamagus Highway
Conway, NH 03818
(603) 447-5448 x 0 Main Office
(603) 447-3121 TTY


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