“It’s coming on Christmas They’re cutting down trees They’re putting up reindeer And singing songs of joy and peace” –Joni Mitchell Is your family pining to venture north to choose the best Christmas tree possible? Do you have relatives who won’t even consider an artificial tree? Or perhaps you have a fourth grader who is eligible for a free Christmas tree permit through Every Kid in a Park initiative.* Whatever your motivation, we’ve compiled a list of locations to find the perfect tree for the season, along with a few tips for your tree trip. Words of Wisdom: Tree cutters are reminded to be prepared for sudden weather changes and colder conditions when in high elevations. A fun family outing can become miserable and even dangerous with a quick change of weather for the unprepared. The permits expire on December 25; however, forest officials recommend cutting your tree early in the season before the higher elevations are snowbound. Trees can stay fresh for quite some time if cared for properly. To help keep your tree fresh, cut two inches from the bottom of your tree when you get home and place it in water. Keep your tree watered and in a shady spot until you are ready to move it into the house. Another helpful hint is to bring an old tarp to wrap your tree in. Then when you drag your tree out of the forest, the tarp protects the tree and helps you avoid breaking branches. The tarp can also help avoid wind damage on the way home. More tips:
- Be sure you understand your permit.
- Never cut alone. Let someone know where you are planning to cut and what time you expect to return home.
- Scatter branches and other debris.
- Cut in only designated or specified areas.
- Help keep your forests clean, PACK TRASH OUT.
- Leave gates as you found them.
- Do not drive off road if ground is soft or wet.
- Always carry your permit with you.
- Always be prepared for adverse weather. Bring a cell phone, extra clothing layers, and snacks. A survival kit is always a good idea when traveling in winter.