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A Festive Adventure- Harvest Your Christmas Tree in the Santa Fe National Forrest

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

As the holiday season approaches, the quest for the perfect Christmas tree becomes a cherished tradition for many people. I grew up in a big city where we would either have a fake tree or go to a lot to buy a tree. Hiking out in the snow, like the Griswalds, to pick the perfect family Christmas Tree was something I romantisized about growing up. This will be my first year heading to the Santa Fe National Forest to handpick our own tree. Not only does it make for a unique experience, but it's also an affordable and eco-friendly way to kick off the season. (Bring a saw!)

Getting Started:

The journey begins online at the Santa Fe National Forest website. Navigate to the top tabs, select "Permits," and you'll find yourself on the permit page. Scroll down to the "Christmas Trees" section, where you can easily fill out your information and obtain a permit for the nominal fee of $12.50, allowing you to harvest one tree.

Affordable and Authentic:

Compared to the prices you might find at traditional stores, this option is incredibly cost-effective. Plus, it adds a personal touch to your holiday décor, knowing that you ventured into the heart of the forest to choose your own tree.

Requirements and Guidelines:

Before you embark on your tree-cutting adventure, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the guidelines set by the Santa Fe National Forest:

Proximity Considerations:

  • Keep your tree-cutting expedition at least 300 feet away from any rivers or streams.

  • Maintain the same distance from paved roads to preserve the natural landscape.

Size Matters:

  • Choose a tree no taller than 10 feet.

  • The stump diameter should not exceed 5 inches.

Restricted Areas:

  • Refrain from cutting trees in designated Wilderness areas and private lands.

  • Exercise caution and avoid all recreation camp areas.

Eco-conscious Practices:

  • Contribute to forest conservation by adhering to these guidelines, ensuring a sustainable and responsible tree-cutting experience.

Safely Harvesting Your Tree:

Equipped with your permit and guidelines, venture into the forest armed with a saw. Remember to cut trees as low to the ground as possible, promoting healthy regrowth for future holiday seasons.

A Word of Caution:

Exercise caution and respect the natural habitat. Avoid cutting trees within 300 feet of streams, rivers, and paved roads to preserve the ecosystem and maintain the beauty of the Santa Fe National Forest.

This holiday season, create lasting memories by embracing the spirit of adventure. Harvesting your Christmas tree in the Santa Fe National Forest not only provides a stunning centerpiece for your celebrations but also contributes to the conservation of our natural landscapes. Make it a family affair, follow the guidelines, and enjoy the magic of bringing home a tree that carries the spirit of the forest into your festive home.

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