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Nov 7, 2014

Cutting a Christmas Tree: Gila National Forest

What started for us as a cheap way to get a Christmas tree when we were broke one year has turned into a fun tradition for our family. You can obtain a FREE permit to cut a pinon pine tree (there are size restrictions, over 2 feet and under 12 feet). If you want a different species of tree the permit is $5.00 per tree.  
“Admission”: 
  • Free!

Things to Do:

  • Cut a tree
Things To Bring With You
  • Tree Permit
    • You can get your free permit from the District Ranger Office. Click here to find the nearest office to you. 
    • The permit papers will give specifications on the size of the tree and how far off the road it needs to be. 
  • Area map
    • The District Ranger Office will give you a map with your permit. This map shows all the locations where cutting trees is permitted. Stay within the boundaries of the allowed area! 
  • Saw
  • Rope/tie downs
  • A Jacket
  • Sturdy shoes

Nearest Cities: 

  • Silver City, NM
Plan a few hours for your trip. We usually spend quite a while hiking around looking for that year’s “perfect” tree. Some years we want a tall skinny one. Some years we want a nicely shaped one. Some years we want a goofy tree. They’re all out there, you just have to be willing to hike around. Trust us…most of the good trees visible from the road have been snagged. Walk back into the forest a ways. Some years we think we’ll great a GPS Coordinate map of the best trees and sell it to people…but that’d take away all the fun! Finding the tree is our favorite part of the Christmas Tree experience. 

Be sure to bring a saw. You’ll definitely need it.

If you hike into the woods at all, you’ll also have to drag the tree back out. Bring good shoes.

If you don’t have a truck (and you don’t need one, as you can see below), be sure to bring plenty of tie downs. We’ve used rope, bailing wire, and even jute twine before and all have worked fine. Even if you do have a truck, you may want to tie it down. We’ve seen trees fly out of trucks before.

This is a great tradition to do just as a couple, a family, or with friends!

We LOVE how it makes the house smell. It’s so nice to have a real tree in the house.

(This post was originally on a boredusa blog, hence the boredusa watermark on the photos, we were going to get going before I decided to just make it part of my normal blogging). 

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