Sharpen Your Saw! It's Christmas Tree Huntin' Time | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Sharpen Your Saw! It's Christmas Tree Huntin' Time

Where to get passes and trees for your holiday cheer

For those hearty souls who like to cut their own Christmas tree like Clark W. Griswold, the time to buy your permits has come.

The $5 permits are good for one tree and are available for purchase weekdays from 8am to 4:30pm at the Deschutes or Ochoco Supervisor or District Offices, as well as retail stores in Bend including Bi-Mart, Butler Market South, C.E. Lovejoy’s Brookswood Market and sporting goods stores including REI and Powder House.

click to enlarge Sharpen Your Saw! It's Christmas Tree Huntin' Time
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Dragging the tree out of the forest: just one part of this holiday tradition.
National Forest offices in Bend, Redmond, Madras and Prineville will be open on a few select Saturdays between now and Christmas.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the most popular trees used for Christmas trees are Douglas fir, white fir, incense cedar and sometimes lodgepole and ponderosa pines. The Forest Service says in general, pines can be found on flatter ground at lower elevations around Bend and on south and west facing slopes around Prineville. Firs and cedars are found at higher elevations around Bend and Sisters and on north and east facing slopes around Prineville.

A permit is required for each tree, and each household can have five permits maximum per year. The Forest Service reminds people to cut trees only on National Forest lands, select trees that are less than 12 feet tall, take trees that are within 20 feet of another tree and cut the stump down to less than 12 inches from the ground. Attach the permit to your tree during transit.

Also, don’t cut trees on private property, within 150 feet of state highways, picnic areas, campgrounds and other developed areas, within 300 feet of streams, rivers and lakes, within young tree plantations and within designated Wilderness areas or the Newberry National Volcanic Monument east of La Pine.

Don't want to end up with frozen eyes, like Audrey from "Christmas Vacation?"

It can be chilly out there, so bring extra clothes, water and food. A hand saw or axe as well as a shovel and tire chains are recommended safety equipment. And letting people know where you're going is always a good plan when you travel above the snow line.

To keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard, leave it outside until you’re ready to move it indoors. Then cut the trunk at an angle before placing it in your stand and remember to refill the water reservoir daily.

For a full list of where the passes are available for sale, click HERE
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