U.S. Forest Service officials in Vermont are welcoming the public to select and cut a Christmas tree on the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF) with the purchase of a $5 permit. Permits are now available for purchase either online (an additional $2.50 service fee applies) or in-person at GMNF offices in Manchester or Rochester, Vermont. In support of the Every Kid Outdoors initiative, this year the forest service will provide fourth-grade students with a free Christmas tree voucher by registering here: https://everykidoutdoors.gov. Fourth graders who register must present a printed voucher to redeem a Christmas tree permit. Christmas trees for personal use may be cut on the GMNF, subject to the following conditions:
FEES AND AVAILABILITY
- Permits can be purchased either online or in-person at a GMNF office.
- Purchasing permits in-person can be done by calling one of offices located in Manchester, Rochester and Rutland, Vermont. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, confirm that the office locations are open by making an appointment prior to travel.
- Two permits allowed per household per year.
- Trees obtained under the Christmas tree permit may not be resold.
RULES FOR HARVESTING
- Trees may only be cut within designated areas as indicated in maps (links available below).
- Trees over 20 feet tall are not covered by the permit.
- The tree must be cut at a point no higher than 6 inches off the ground.
- Permit holders must remove all trash and litter resulting from their activities. This includes removing all woody debris from road surfaces, ditches and culvert openings where cutting took place.
- Permit is not valid in: Congressionally-designated wilderness areas; active timber sale areas; and developed recreation sites including campgrounds, picnic areas and day use sites; and the following management areas as designated by the 2006 Forest Plan: Ecological Special Areas, Existing and Candidate Research Natural Areas, Alpine / subalpine Special Areas, and the Robert Frost Recreation Special Area (see maps).
- Permit must be attached to the tree before transporting it from the site where it was cut.
HELPFUL CUTTING TIPS
- Carry trees carefully out of the woods. Dragging the tree will rub off needles and bark.
- If the tree is too big to transport inside of the vehicle, wrap it in canvas to prevent wind damage.
- Once home, cut the bottom of the trunk off and place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket of water. Replenish water.
- If storing trees outside for a few days before putting it in the house, keep it in an area protected from the wind, such as the north or east side of the house or under a shaded tree.
- Choose a tree from a dense forested area, which will give the remaining trees more space to grow.
- Cut the leftover branches from the stump and scatter them.
U.S. Forest Service offices in Vermont are located in Rutland, 802-747-6700; Manchester Ranger Station, 2538 Depot Street, Manchester Center, VT, 802-362-2307; Rochester Ranger Station, 99 Ranger Road, Rochester, VT, 802-767-4261.
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