Cutting Down a Christmas Tree in Summit County
Everything you need to know about cutting down your own Christmas tree in the White River National Forest’s Dillon Ranger District.
You must purchase a Christmas tree cutting permit BEFORE you cut your tree down. There is a limit of five permits per person, and permits are not eligible for refund. Permits may be purchased from:
- The Dillon Ranger District Visitor Center – 680 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne. Open Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm (closed for lunch from 12:30pm-1:30pm), Closed weekends
- Sanders True Value Hardware (*CASH ONLY*) – 160 6th Street, Silverthorne. Open Monday-Friday 8:00am-6:00pm, Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm, & Sunday 10:00am-3:00pm
- Breckenridge Welcome Center – 203 South Main Street, Breckenridge. Open 7 days a week 9:00am-5:00pm
- Permits are also available by mail – Click here for mail in permit instructions
Decide where you’d like to cut your tree down. Most of the White River National Forest is open for cutting, but please avoid the following areas:
- Wilderness areas & proposed Wilderness areas
- Developed Recreation Areas
- Ski Areas
- Within 100 feet of main roads
Things to bring and think about before you go:
- Don’t forget your permit sticker!
- Rope or straps to secure the tree to your vehicle
- The best tool to bring is a hand saw or camp saw
- Dress warmly and bring layers; be aware that conditions can change quickly in the mountains
- Snowshoes, skis, or microspikes are highly recommended for traveling in deep snow or ice
- Check travel maps and road conditions prior to heading out
- Before you leave to cut a tree, measure your space
- Do not rely on cell phones, most areas of the Forest do not have service
Please observe these rules when cutting down your Christmas tree:
- Any conifer tree may be harvested EXCEPT for the Colorado Blue Spruce – Please do not cut down a Colorado Blue Spruce
- Trees need to be less than 15 feet tall and six inches or less in stump diameter (at the base)
- Cutting the top off of large trees is prohibited
- Do not cut single trees in forest openings, find a small group of trees to cut from instead
- Cut your tree as close to the ground as possible (stump height of six inches or less)
- Attach your Christmas tree permit sticker to the base of the tree stump BEFORE transporting
- Trees must be used for personal use and cannot be re-sold
Follow these steps to ensure your tree will last until Christmas!
- Once your tree is home, cut one inch off the base of the trunk and immediately place in water
- Do not allow your tree to dry out – check water levels at least once a day and increase humidity by misting the needles with water (Dry trees are fire hazards!)
- Decorate & ENJOY!