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Available on Six Northern State Forests

 - Photo credit: DNR
Photo credit: DNR

Contact(s): Teague Prichard, State Lands Specialist, 608-669-8290,
November 19, 2019

MADISON, Wis. - People interested in cutting a Christmas tree for their home can obtain a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources permit to cut a tree at a northern state forest. This service is only available on the Black River, Brule River, Flambeau River, Governor Earl Peshtigo River, Governor Knowles and Northern Highland-American Legion state forests.

Permits can be obtained from the property headquarters for a nominal fee, said DNR State Lands Specialist Teague Prichard. Fresh evergreen boughs may also be harvested with the non-commercial forest products permit.

"We know people enjoy our forests throughout the year and the opportunity to find that special Christmas tree or bring home some fresh-scented evergreen boughs provides another great reason to visit our northern state forests," Prichard said.

Balsam firs - known for their beautiful fragrance and dark green needles - are among the most sought-after species in northern state forests. Various types of pines also find their way home with visitors, Prichard said.

Before heading into the woods with a freshly sharpened saw and permit in hand, the DNR encourages visitors to know a few basics. For example, harvesting is prohibited within 100 feet of visual distance of roads, trails and water, and there is no harvesting from campgrounds or day use areas. Trees must be cut at ground level with a maximum height of 30 feet and the trees taken from state forests cannot be resold. Trees cut inside the gypsy moth quarantine area cannot be moved outside the quarantine zone.

Find contact information for the northern state forests and their locations and information on non-commercial harvesting permits on the DNR website.

Not all forests issue Christmas tree cutting permits, so people should contact the state forest in advance to ensure there are no special harvesting restrictions. Many county forests also allow non-commercial harvest of Christmas trees. Permits are also available to harvest a Christmas tree on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Last Revised: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

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