Home for Christmas

Home For Christmas: After you’ve found and cut your tree on the White Mountain National Forest, it’s time to take it home and decorate it. No, it won’t look like a farmed tree, yes it will be beautiful. (Tim Jones PHOTO)

GORHAM —  The White Mountain National Forest on Saturday will begin selling Christmas tree permits for the 2017 holiday season.

Cutting your own Christmas tree can be an enjoyable adventure for the entire family and just may become a yearly tradition. Bundle up, make a lunch, bring your handsaw or ax and look for that special tree. You will need a permit, sharp saw, thermos of cocoa and a little patience.

A Christmas tree permit can be purchased for $5, cash or check only, from the White Mountain National Forest.  Offices are located in Gorham and Conway. For office hours and permits, go to fs.usda.gov/whitemountain.  

This year, one free holiday tree cutting permit will be issued to fourth graders who present a valid Every Kid in a Park pass. The forest service is among a number of federal agencies supporting the Every Kid in a Park initiative; more information can be found at www.everykidinapark.gov.

Keep in mind that a wild tree may not have the perfect appearance of a commercial tree.

Please remember:

• Trees are for personal use only, not for resale. Each family may cut one tree.

• Use hand tools to cut Christmas trees.  Chainsaws are not permitted.

• Make sure you are on national forest land. Respect the rights of landowners when crossing private property.

• Do not cut trees in or near campgrounds, picnic areas, experimental forests, wilderness, timber sale areas, or within 100 feet of a state highway. When you purchase the permit, ask if there are any known “off limit” areas.

• Do not cut trees larger than 8 inches in diameter at chest height. Pack down limb piles and scatter limbs and wood at least 25 feet away from roads, streams, hiking trails and property boundaries.

• Cut your tree so remaining stumps will be less than 10 inches in height.

• Be prepared for winter. Dress appropriately in warm clothing, and make your day a safe one.

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