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Cut down a Christmas tree free in National Forest

CADILLAC – With the holidays fast approaching, the Huron-Manistee National Forests are offering a free Christmas Tree tag to any 4th and new this year, 5th grade student with the Every Kid Outdoors pass. To obtain a free 4th or 5th Grade Voucher, visit our Every Kid Outdoors webpage, click on “Get Your Pass”, and download a voucher.

New this year, the Huron-Manistee National Forests are offering personal use Christmas tree permits through the recreation.gov platform. You may purchase up to three trees at $5.00 per tree.

Christmas Tree permits are also available for purchase at our Supervisor’s Office and District Offices. Please call your nearest office to arrange the purchase in advance. The phone numbers are

· Supervisor’s Office in Cadillac: 231-775-2421 

· Huron Shores District Office: 989-739-0728

· Mio District Office: 989-826-3252

“For many families, going out into the forest to find a tree for the holidays is a treasured tradition that has been carried on for generations,” said Joshua Veal, Public Affairs Officer for the Huron-Manistee National Forests. “For others, this is an opportunity to create a new tradition and discover the joy of bringing a tree home from your national forest and creating special memories.”

Families should plan carefully to ensure a safe and successful Christmas tree cutting adventure. Good planning begins with wearing warm, waterproof clothing and packing the following items:

– A handsaw or similar instrument to cut your tree;

– Pruning shears to trim low-hanging branches near the tree’s stump;

– Rope or cables to secure the tree to your vehicle;

– Food and water.

The Huron-Manistee National Forests recommend budgeting several hours to locate and cut a Christmas tree. It is also important to tell a friend or neighbor where you are going and when you will be back, and to be prepared for unplowed forest roads.

Harvesting a Christmas tree from the Huron-Manistee National Forests can be great fun if done responsibly. Individuals who purchase a Christmas tree tag should adhere to the following guidelines:

– Harvest trees only on National Forest System lands that are open for cutting.

– Cut only conifers that are less than 20 feet tall.

– Ensure that stumps are less than six inches tall.

– Cut trees for personal use only.

– Attach a valid Christmas tree tag to each tree before removing it from the site at which it was cut.

– Keep the tag attached to trees in transit.

To prolong the life of a Christmas tree harvested from National Forest System lands, cut the bottom inch from the trunk before placing it in a stand. Christmas trees should be watered daily and kept away from heat sources such as vents and fireplaces.

Please visit Huron-Manistee National Forests for more information.

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