For many families, heading out into the woods before Christmas to find that perfect tree to help symbolize Christmas is a yearly tradition. Last year the local Forest Service office sold over 1,500 permits! If you have never cut down your own tree before, now is the perfect time to start and we have all the information you will need to get out and safely cut a fresh tree this year. The first step is to buy a permit for $10 from the Forest Service; in Laramie their office is located on the west side of town at the intersection of WYO 130 and WYO 230. Their offices are open 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Saturday. The Forest Service Office in Laramie mentioned that:

We normally don’t have Saturday hours but this time of year a lot of people are looking to go out and get their Christmas trees so we are open on Saturdays this time of year for that purpose.

Once you have a permit in hand you are free to go cut your tree; you can buy up to five permits by the way but you cannot resell trees. Most forests around Laramie are open to cutting a tree, however the one major exception we were told is that you cannot head East up to the poll Mountain/Vedauwoo area because there are simply not enough trees in that area to cut. The best place to go is out WYO 130 into the Snowy Range to look for a great tree. If you are thinking of going anywhere check the Forest Service’s guidelines.

When you are looking for your tree keep the following in mind:

  • Trees must bee 500 yards from a highway
  • Trees must be 100 yards from a campground
  • Don’t cut a 25′ tree and take the top 6′; You want to find a tree less than 12′
  • Make sure that you attach your permit to the tree once you have cut it down

Other things you might want to make sure you take along include a saw (Hopefully we didn’t really need to say that!), a sled,  something to attach the tree to your car, and some warm clothes. Taking along a large sled makes it a lot easier to pull the tree out of the woods! The Forest Service also mentioned that with all of the recent beetle kill you will want to watch out for falling trees if it gets windy while you are out and about. Don’t risk it with your family, get them out of the woods if trees start swaying too much. Have a great time cutting down your tree this year from all of us at Y95 Country!