Christmas is coming and there’s nothing like a real Christmas tree for the season.
There are plenty of places to buy a real tree and even a few where you can cut your own. But if you can also head out in the bush and cut your own tree. British Columbians who are interested in cutting their own Christmas tree can obtain a permit online, or by contacting their local district or FrontCounter BC office.
Local district offices can provide details about specific cutting requirements and approved harvest areas. Free-use permits are provided for personal use only. Selling a tree cut under a Christmas tree permit, or cutting a tree in an unauthorized area, is illegal.
Members of the public are reminded to check online maps provided by districts to ensure they are cutting within a designated area. No permits are available in the Chilliwack District due to population density and tree demand.
The ministry’s Christmas tree website provides links to online Christmas tree permits, as well as FrontCounter BC and district office contact information. The BC Christmas Tree Council’s website contains a list of tree farms and “U-Cuts” around the province.
When cutting a Christmas tree, keep the following tips in mind:
- Leave home prepared. Bring ropes, gloves, tools, tire chains, a first aid kit, a mobile phone and warm clothing.
- Drive carefully. Be prepared for logging trucks: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/files/tk_pdfs/gde_resrd.pdf
- Make sure you have found the tree you will use before cutting. Some permits specify only one tree can be cut.
- Choose a tree that can be cut near the base and is easy to transport. Wasted tree remains left in the forest can form a summer fire hazard.
- Clean up and remove all debris associated with your activity.
For more information about Christmas tree permits: www.gov.bc.ca/christmastreepermits
For more information on the BC Christmas Tree Council: www.bcchristmastrees.com