[design image slice] U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service on faded trees in medium light green background [design image slice] more faded trees

Rocky Mountain Region

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Photo of Smokey with a family at Christmas Tree cutting areaCutting a Christmas tree in a national forest is a tradition for many residents of the Rocky Mountain Region. In doing so, you take an active part in managing your national forests as you celebrate your own family's tradition. Happy Holidays!

Animated image of a house with blinking lights Four primary cutting areas along the Front Range in the Arapaho, Pike and Roosevelt National Forests serve metro Denver and surrounding communities for those who want to cut their own Christmas tree.

To purchase a cutting permit for one of these areas, select the area you want to cut in from the list to the right or click on the map to view all the cutting areas. The general information below pertains to all cutting areas.

  • Click HERE to view a Quick Info Sheet
  • Click HERE to see a map
  • Click HERE to view FAQs

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FRONT RANGE
CHRISTMAS TREE
CUTTING AREA MAP

 

Image of Front Range Christmas Tree Cutting Area Map and link to the Front Range Christmas Tree Cutting Area Map Web page

CLICK ON MAP FOR A LARGER IMAGE

 

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REMEMBER THAT LOCAL EXCEPTIONS MAY APPLY
TO THE INFORMATION BELOW!

GENERAL PERMIT REQUIREMENTS:

Core Cutting Dates: December 5-13, 2009
Permits: $10 each. One tree per permit. Limit 5 permits per person. All sales are final.
Area Entry Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. - For your safety, no entry is allowed before or after these hours.

 

Image of Christmas tree being cut and link to Pike NF tree cutting video

Click on the image above to watch a video of
Christmas tree cutting in the Pike National Forest

 

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Image of Christmas garland

 

REMEMBER THAT LOCAL EXCEPTIONS MAY APPLY
TO THE INFORMATION BELOW!

RECOMMENDATIONS/REQUIREMENTS WHEN CUTTING A TREE:

  • Tree trunk size must be 6 inches (or less) in diameter - strictly enforced in some areas, but some local exceptions may apply
  • Cut tree 6 inches (or less) from the ground and take the whole tree – “TOPPING” TREES IS NOT PERMITTED!
  • Cut a tree close to other trees to help thin the forest
  • Use handsaws ONLY - CHAINSAWS ARE STRICTLY PROHIBITED (see below)!!
  • PROHIBITED - CHAINSAWS, SNOWMOBILES, ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES, OTHER OFF-ROAD VEHICLES AND CUTTING TREES MARKED WITH BLUE PAINT
  • Pets MUST be on a leash - Better yet, leave pets at home
  • Park out of traffic path
  • Pack out your own trash
  • Don't trespass on private property
  • Check road conditions on the Colorado Department of Transportation Web site or call Ranger District offices
  • Dress for winter weather
  • Fill your gas tank
  • Carry tire chains
  • Bring food, extra water, warm drinks, a shovel, a blanket, and a first-aid kit
  • Permits must be visible on tree for easy check-out
  • Bring a rope and tarp to pack your tree in or on your vehicle for the trip home

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Image of Christmas garland


Image of Christmas garland

 

Animated image of moving flames in a fireplace and candles on the mantle, along with stockings hung with care and a Christmas tree

TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR TREE STAY MOIST LONGER:

Re-cut the end of the tree by 1 inch and let it stand in a bucket of "Fire-Minimizing" mixture
(recipe below) until you’re ready to bring it indoors. Fill the reservoir twice a day (morning and
evening) with the remaining mixture.
NOTE - This mixture does NOT make your tree fireproof! It merely helps your tree stay moist longer, which helps minimize any fire danger!

"FIRE MINIMIZING " MIXTURE

  • 2 gals. of hot water
  • 2 cups corn syrup
  • 2 oz. liquid bleach
  • 2 pinches epsom salts
  • 1/2 tsp. borax
  • 1 tsp. chelated iron (get from local garden shop)

HOW DOES THIS "FIRE-MINIMIZING" MIXTURE WORK?

The corn syrup provides sugar, which allows the tree to soak up a lot of water. Without sugar, only a small amount of water is absorbed. You can expect the tree to soak up 1 1/2 gallons of the recipe during the 10- to 14-day period your tree is up, which is about 800 percent more water than it would have absorbed growing in the forest.

The boron (in the borax) makes the water and sugar move to every needle of your tree. The epsom salts and chelated iron provide magnesium sulfate help chlorophyll production, keeping your needles green. Bleach stops mold from forming when water and sugar stand for awhile.

Have a great time and be safe!

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