Cut Your Own Christmas Tree
December 7, 2013

Ready to get a Christmas tree, and want to create a fun family tradition? Consider hiking into a national forest and cutting your own tree. 

Here’s our annual reminder of how to do it.

Tree-cutting permits cost just $5; in the Northeast, they are available for the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire and the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont. In addition to cash or a check, you will need a handsaw or ax, warm clothes and other essentials for a winter hike, and patience. You and your family will have to spend some time looking for the right tree and then working together to cut it and carry it out. (Your tree must be at least 100 feet from a state highway, and not in or near a campground, picnic area, Wilderness, or other area that is off limits for cutting trees.)

You can buy tree-cutting permits at White Mountain National Forest offices in Gorham, Conway, Campton, and Lincoln, New Hampshire; and at Green Mountain National Forest offices in Rutland, Middlebury, Manchester, and Rochester, Vermont. Before driving to the region to cut a tree, make sure the nearest office will be open.

Once in the woods, you may want to look for fragrant balsam firs, which retain their needles well, or spruce, with their full branches and classic shape. Whatever type of tree you choose, you may find the extra work is wonderfully balanced by the experience of seeing the tree in its natural surroundings before bringing it home. A little hot chocolate can help.

Learn More
Don’t remember the difference between a fir and a spruce? Read some tips from AMC.


July 25, 2014
Leading kids through the woods requires more than a map and compass.
September 2, 2012
Need some fresh ideas for outdoor fun with your kids? Here are a few free or low-cost suggestions gathered from AMC experts!

By: Guest
Posted: 01/12/2017 13:05

well we are cutting the tree on which we are sitting each time we cut down a tree..trees are our planets lungs and without lungs no one can we should think a little bit before cutting down forests just because we want a Christmas tree or earn moeny from it..that's a sin again humanity and nature and it's far more worth than using a service to grade your essay, don't you think so?

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Take a night walk. Choose nearby or new: your neighborhood, a local park, along a waterfront, or out in the country. Whether you’re guided by the bright lights of the city or by starlight, pay attention to what you can hear, see, and feel. Even a short walk will illuminate the senses!

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