Each permit allows a family to cut one tree, with a tree height limit of 15 feet, or dig a small live transplant tree. Permits may be purchased in person or by mail and are limited to two permits per family. The permits are non-refundable and are only good on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
The Christmas tree permit must be validated and securely attached to the tree trunk between the limbs and be visible during transportation. Christmas trees cannot be harvested in Wilderness areas, campgrounds, developed recreation areas, or tree plantations.
When venturing out into the cold and snowy hills in pursuit of a Christmas tree, following are some hints to help make your trip a safe one:
· Before leaving home, notify a friend or family member where you will be going and when you will return. Then, stick to your plan and let your contact person know when you have returned.
· Check road conditions and fire closure area locations with local ranger district offices.
· Consider carefully your clothing, equipment and vehicle needs, making certain they are adequate for the worst conditions you might encounter. If planning to drive over snow-covered roads, a high-clearance vehicle may be best, and don’t forget to carry tire chains and a shovel.
· Once snow starts to build up, ALWAYS check the avalanche hazard before leaving home.
· Leave early in the day to allow for maximum daylight.
· Be familiar with the area that you plan to visit.
· Carry extra clothing, food and tools in your vehicle for those unexpected mishaps that may occur.
· Christmas tree permits may be placed on the driver’s side dashboard in lieu of a Northwest Forest Pass when parking at a trailhead. However, once enough snow accumulates and selected trailhead parking areas convert to Sno-Parks, you must have a valid Washington State Sno-Park permit displayed on your windshield when parking at any State Sno-Park.
For those who can't make it into national forest offices during daily business hours, many local businesses will also be selling Christmas tree permits. After Nov. 1, check the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest web site for a list of vendors (www.fs.usda.gov/okawen).
For more information about Christmas tree permits please contact any Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest office. These offices are open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Chelan Ranger District, 428 W. Woodin Ave., Chelan WA 98816; 509-682-4900
Cle Elum Ranger District, 803 W. 2nd Street, Cle Elum, WA 98922; 509-852-1100
Entiat Ranger District, physical address 2108 Entiat Way, mailing address P.O. Box 476 Entiat, WA 98822; 509-784-1511
Methow Valley Ranger District, 24 West Chewuch Road, Winthrop, WA 98862; 509-996-4000
Naches Ranger District, 10237 Hwy. 12, Naches, WA 98937; 509-653-1401
Okanogan Valley Office, 1240 South Second Ave., Okanogan, WA 98840; 509-826-3275
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Headquarters office, 215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee, WA 98801; 509-664-9200
Tonasket Ranger District, 1 W. Winesap, Tonasket, WA 98855; 509-486-2186
Wenatchee River Ranger District, 600 Sherbourne, Leavenworth, WA 98826; 509-548-2550
All national forest offices will be closed on upcoming holidays—Veterans Day, November 12, Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, and Christmas day, December 25.