Where You Can Cut Your Own Christmas Tree in Montana

Celebrating the holidays in Montana is always a good time, with a pretty high chance of getting a white Christmas, it’s easy to get into the spirit of the season. One unique tradition beloved by locals is visiting one of Montana’s many National Forests to cut down your own Christmas tree. Here’s everything you need to know before heading out to get one for yourself.

 

Tree permits are available online at Recreation.gov for $5 per tree (plus a small processing fee), but you will need to purchase a permit for the specific forest you intend to cut your tree from, so make sure you have decided where you are going before you buy. Permits are good throughout the forest, except at cabins, campgrounds, picnic areas, trailheads, wilderness and riparian areas, natural landmarks, and reforested areas. This practice benefits general forest health by removing smaller trees from the forest – promoting growth in larger trees and benefiting wildlife by creating increased openings for wildlife to forage. 

 

Custer-Gallatin National Forest

Season: Thursday, October 13, 2022 - Saturday, December 31, 2022

Maximum height: 12 feet

Maximum number of trees: 3 

 

Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

Season: Thursday, October 13, 2022 - Saturday, December 31, 2022

Maximum height: 12 feet

Maximum number of trees: 3 

 

Bitterroot National Forest

Season: Thursday, November 10, 2022 - Saturday, December 31, 2022

Maximum height: 12 feet

Maximum number of trees: 3 

 

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Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

Season: Thursday, November 10, 2022 - Saturday, December 31, 2022

Maximum height: 12 feet

Maximum number of trees: 3 

 

Lolo National Forest

Season: Thursday, November 10, 2022 - Saturday, December 31, 2022

Maximum height: 12 feet

Maximum number of trees: 3 

 

Flathead National Forest

Season: Thursday, October 13, 2022 - Saturday, December 31, 2022

Maximum height: 12 feet

Maximum number of trees: 3 

 

Kootenai National Forest

Season: Thursday, November 10, 2022 - Saturday, December 31, 2022

Maximum height: 12 feet

Maximum number of trees: 3 

 

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After your permit is purchased, head out to the local forest with your measuring tape, handsaw, tarp, gloves, and rope or straps to tie down your tree along with your sense of adventure and plenty of warm clothes. Roads through the forest may not be plowed, so make sure you have a vehicle that can handle the terrain, you may also want to bring tire chains, shovels, and a tow chain just in case. Enjoy your time exploring our national forests and making holiday memories!


 

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