Timber! Holiday Tree Options Abound in Central Oregon | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Timber! Holiday Tree Options Abound in Central Oregon

Hike to get your tree—or enjoy a host of other options

Timber! Holiday Tree Options Abound in Central Oregon
Courtesy Old Mill District
Seeking some holiday feels? Soon the Tree of Joy will illuminate the Old Mill.
The custom of erecting and decorating a tree in celebration of winter holidays evolved from Germany in the 1500s. In addition to trees, some early European celebrants constructed Christmas pyramids of wood, evergreen boughs and candles—especially where trees were scarce. 

Fast forward 400 years, and varying regional and family holiday tree traditions have arisen. The following tips should help modern high desert patrons looking for that special evergreen to light up their home this holiday season. 

For the aspiring amature lumberjack (or Jane)

Looking to get out in Deschutes National Forest (DNF) or the Ochocos to fell your own pine or fir? According to the U.S. Forest Service, the most popular tree species used for Christmas trees are Douglas fir, white fir, incense cedar and sometimes even lodgepole and ponderosa pines.

"In general, these can be found on flatter ground at lower elevations around Bend and on south- and west-facing slopes around Prineville," notes the DNF website. "Firs and Cedars are found at higher elevations around Bend and Sisters and on north and east facing slopes around Prineville."

DOs for amateur lumberjacks:

Get a permit. One permit is required for each tree.... Five permits maximum, per household. Permits are $5 each and are available at: recreation.gov/tree-permits/

Only cut your tree on National Forest lands. 

Select any tree species that is less than 12 feet tall.

Only take a tree that is within 20 feet of another tree.

Cut stumps shorter than 12 inches.

Respect road and area closures.

Motorized travel for the purpose of cutting your tree must comply with restrictions found on Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Maps.

DON'T remove trees from:

Private property.

Within 150 feet of state highways, picnic areas, campgrounds and other developed areas.

Within 300 feet of streams and bodies of water.

Within young tree plantations (nursery grown seedlings planted for future forests).

Within designated Wilderness areas or the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

Obtaining a permit:

The Forest Service moved permit sales to Recreation.gov as an added convenience and to provide an alternative to in-person transactions at offices where staffing may be limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For a listing of places tree cutting permits are sold locally and more information, see https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/passes-permits/forestproducts/?cid=fsbdev3_035887

For the one-stop holiday tree shopper

Can't do without the finest holiday tree in all the land? Local nurseries, including LandSystems nursery in Bend, have the top-of-the-line gourmet trees you seek, plus, all the accoutrements needed to kick off a fantastic winter solstice. Potted trees can be kept in the house through the holidays and then planted later on. LandSystems also provides classes in wreath making, table setting and more. 

Additional holiday home decor options include handcrafted wreaths, poinsettias, fresh cut greenery, Christmas figures and sets. 

"We have wonderful arrangements, classes, hot chocolate, decorations, gifts and ornaments, a warm fire in the stove, Christmas trees, alive and flocked and so much more," according to the LandSystems site. "This is a special time that our customers really look forward to, so come by and plan on spending some time.  It takes several trips to really see it all."

For those seeking community tree and light displays

-Sunriver Resort hosts a daily tree-lighting ceremony in the backyard of its Main Lodge. The lighting happens from Nov. 25 to Jan. 3, at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30pm.

-The Tree of Joy lighting at the Old Mill isn't happening this year—but the annual menorah lighting organized by Chabad of Central Oregon is on! The drive-in event takes place Thu., Dec. 10. Details are available at oldmilldistrict.com/holiday-happenings. The Salvation Army is holding a fundraiser for area families, without the Tree of Joy event; visit bend.salvationarmy.org.

About The Author

K.M. Collins

A native Oregonian, K.M. Collins is a geologist-gone-writer. Covering everything outdoors and a spectrum of journalism, she's a jack of all whitewater sports and her favorite beat is anything river related. Don't blow her cover as a freshwater mermaid amongst humans.
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