Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest Allows Christmas Tree Cutting
The Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest is once again offering Christmas tree permits for the holiday season.
A $5.00 permit allows a family to chop down one tree in the forest, with a height limit of 15 feet.
Forest Service spokesperson Robin DeMario says most people won’t need or want a tree that reaches the height limit.
"Think about it," said DeMario. "You're going to carry that home with you, and then put it on your car. If you look at your roof in your house or apartment or whatever, that's not 15 feet."
Only two permits are allowed per household. The permits are non-refundable and are only good on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
The forest service also has a list of places where tree cutting is not allowed, including areas close to campgrounds and bodies of water.
Where NOT to Cut Your Tree:
- Do not cut within private land, wilderness areas, fire closure areas, tree plantations or any other posted area.
- Do not cut within sight of administrative sites, campgrounds or other developed recreation areas.
- Do not cut in active timber sales or areas that have been planted with new trees.
- Do not cut within 150 feet of any stream, lake, pond, or wetland area.
- Do not cut within 200 feet of the following roads:
- Naches District—along Highway 410, Highway 12, and Forest Service Roads #1200, #1800, and #1900
- Entiat District—along the Entiat Valley Road
- Cle Elum District—along I-90 and Highway 97
- Methow Valley District—along Highway 20 over Loup Loup Pass between Twisp and Okanogan. Along Harts Pass road #5400. Along North Cascades Scenic Highway between east and west scenic highway portal signs (including all side roads).
DeMario says there are ways to cut down trees that actually enhance the long-term health of the forest.
"We recommend, if you happen to be in an area where there's a bunch of trees growing somewhat together, just thin out one of the trees from that clump," said Demario. "That not only helps reduce the overpopulation of the trees in that one area, but it also offers nutrients and sunlight for those trees that are left."
There are three ways to purchase tree permits. They can be purchased at national forest offices and a number of retail locations as well as online.
To purchase a Christmas tree permit online, go to Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests Christmas Tree Permit in Washington.
Traditional permits may be purchased from the Chelan, Entiat, Methow Valley, Wenatchee River, Cle Elum, and Naches Ranger District offices. Find those locations here.
Retail Locations offering Christmas Tree Permits:
- Wenatchee area
- Hooked on Toys, 1444 N. Wenatchee Ave., phone 509-663-0740
- Arlberg Sports, Grand Central Bldg., 25 N. Wenatchee Ave., phone 509-663-7401
- Stan’s Merry Mart, 733 S. Wenatchee Ave., phone 509-662-5858
Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee areas
- Dan’s Market, 1329 Hwy 2 in Leavenworth, phone 509-548-5611
- Icicle Quick Stop, 585 Hwy 2 in Leavenworth, phone 509-548-9601
- Plain Hardware, 18636 Beaver Valley Road, Plain, phone 509-763-3836
- Midway Grocery, 14193 Chiwawa Loop Road, Lake Wenatchee, 509-763-3344
- Hank’s Market, 412 E. Methow Valley Hwy (Hwy 20) in Twisp, 509-997-7711
- Hank’s Mini Mart, 410 E. Methow Valley Hwy (Hwy 20) in Twisp, 509-997-4332
- Pardners Mini-Mart, 900 Hwy 20 in Winthrop, phone 509-996-2005
Cle Elum / Roslyn area
- Mac-A-Bee Gifts of the Southwest, 1401 Airport Road, Cle Elum, 509-674-7055
- Pioneer Coffee Company, 121 N Pennsylvania Ave, Cle Elum, phone 509-674-4100
- Sportland Shell Mini Mart, Hwy 903 between Cle Elum & Roslyn, phone 509-649-2260
- Basecamp Books and Bites, 110 W Pennsylvania Ave, Roslyn, phone 509-649-3821
Trees are allowed to be cut down until Dec. 31.