A Family Tradition in the Forest
With Halloween over and that cold snap in the air, it’s time for the annual outing to cut the family Christmas Tree. Whether this is an old tradition or a new one, Plumas County is a beautiful place to cut your own conifer. Plumas County is home to both the Lassen National Forest and the Plumas National Forest, giving you access to over 2 million acres of forest to explore and make memories in.
Make it a weekend in the Lost Sierra, looking for the perfect Christmas Tree and having fun. Plumas County offers many options in lodging, places to eat, and special events during November and December.
Tips for the Perfect Tree and a Healthy Forest
- Bring tools, including a tape measure (trees can be bigger than they look), a hand saw, gloves, a tarp, ropes, and tie-downs.
- The tree must be at least 200 feet from main roads, recreation sites, and campgrounds. Stay away from areas along streams, rivers, lakes, and wet areas.
- Select a tree with a trunk of six inches or less in diameter. Cut the tree no more than six inches above the ground.
- Never cut a tall tree just for the top. Help thin out the little trees!
- Select a tree from overstocked areas and thickets. This helps with overall forest health.
- Attach your tree tag to the harvested tree before placing it in your vehicle.
Plumas National Forest Permits
For the Plumas National Forest, you can purchase tree permits online or in person at a ranger station starting November 1st. Permits may be purchased online at Recreation.gov.
Before cutting a tree, you must be sure you are in an approved location and know where you are. Use the Plumas National Forest Map.
Personal use firewood still free with a permit on Plumas National Forest
QUINCY, CA — The Plumas National Forest wants to remind area residents that personal-use firewood is available for free with a permit and tags.
Up to 10 cords per household are available per calendar year for free with a permit, a $50 value.
Firewood cutters must have a valid personal use firewood permit, tags, and a copy of the firewood map and regulations in their possession to cut and gather firewood. Tags must be properly affixed to firewood during transport of firewood to a personal residence.
Permits, tags, maps, and woodcutting regulations are available at Plumas National Forest Ranger District Offices during business hours. It is recommended to call in advance to verify the office is open and has tags available. Offices may be closed for lunch breaks, illness, or staffing shortages.
Note permits are not interchangeable between Lassen and Plumas National Forests.
Lassen National Forest Permits
Lassen National Forest permits are available for purchase in person at ranger stations and two Chester retail locations starting November 1st. Mail-in permits are also available. Mail-in requests for permits need to be received by 12/10/23 to be processed. You may get a permit for cutting your Christmas Tree in Lassen National Forest by mailing a completed application and fee. There is a limit of two trees per household. More information.
Students get a Free Christmas Tree!
Every Kid Outdoor Pass
All fourth graders, or age equivalent, can receive an Every Kid Outdoors pass. The Every Kid Outdoor pass is valid at more than 2,000 federally managed lands and recreation sites across the country between September 1, 2023, and August 30, 2024.
Every Kid Outdoors pass/voucher holder is eligible for a free holiday tree permit through their local National Forest! Free holiday tree permits are available by visiting Recreation.gov. Apply using the Every Kid Outdoors pass/voucher. Check the box indicating a pass and enter the pass or voucher number (note: a $2.50 reservation fee will be applied). Bring your Every Kid Outdoor Pass to a local Forest Service office–retail locations (like the two stores in Chester) cannot issue a free Christmas Tree Permit.