Residents who enjoy making a day out of getting a Christmas tree may want to head to the White Mountain National Forest this year.
Bundle up, pack a lunch, bring a handsaw or ax, and head out into the forest — permit in hand.
A Christmas tree permit can be purchased for $5, cash or check only, from the White Mountain National Forest. Offices are located in Campton, Lincoln, Gorham and Conway. For office hours and permits, visit fs.usda.gov/whitemountain.
Several different types of evergreen grow in the White Mountain National Forest. Many people prefer the balsam fir because of fragrance and needle retention. Others prefer the spruce because of the fullness of the branches and the classic shape.
Keep in mind that a wild tree may not have the perfect appearance of a commercial tree. Be prepared to do some real searching.
Remember, 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, timber sale areas, or within 100 feet of a state highway. When you purchase the permit, ask if there are any known “off limit” areas.
Do not cut trees larger than 8 inches in diameter at chest height. Pack down limb piles low enough so they are within 2 feet of the ground. Scatter limbs and wood at least 25 feet away from roads, streams, hiking trails and property boundaries.
Cut the tree so the remaining stump is less than 10 inches in height.
Attach your tree tag after cutting and before transporting your tree.