If you’re heading into the woods to find a Christmas tree, get a permit and take precautions. (Photo credit: Stock image)

If you’re heading into the woods to find a Christmas tree, get a permit and take precautions. (Photo credit: Stock image)

If you got out in the woods today for a tree, have a permit

Plus some tips for would-be Paul Bunyans intent on chopping down their own Christmas tree

If you go out in the woods today to cut down a live Christmas tree, make sure you have a free Christmas tree cutting permit with you.

Anyone who wants to go out and get their own tree can find details of approved harvest areas, and obtain a free cutting permit, online at http://bit.ly/2E16w62. Permits can also be obtained at FrontCounter BC offices throughout the province.

The permits are for personal use only, as it is illegal to sell a tree cut under a Christmas tree permit, or to cut down a tree in an unauthorized area.

Since heading out into the woods to get your own tree is a bit more complicated than driving to a Christmas tree lot, would-be Paul Bunyans should keep the following information in mind:

* Leave home prepared. Bring ropes, gloves, tools, tire chains, a first-aid kit, a mobile phone, and warm clothing.

* Drive carefully. Be prepared for logging trucks on back roads.

* Make sure you have found the tree you will use before cutting. Some permits specify that only one tree can be cut, so make sure the one you intend to chop down is the one you intend to take home.

* Do not leave a pointed stump, as this may cause injury to livestock, wildlife, pets, or other people.

* Choose a tree that can be cut near the base and is easy to transport. Wasted tree remains left in the forest can form a summer fire hazard.

* Clean up and remove all debris associated with your activity. It’s probably best to wait until you get home before you start trimming branches.

Remember to check online maps provided by districts, to ensure you are cutting within a designated area.

Be aware that some areas of the province may not have Christmas trees available for harvest. In addition, you cannot cut a Christmas tree from private lands, plantations, research areas, parks, areas adjacent to rivers, streams, lakes, or swamps, juvenile-spaced areas, and any other areas reserved for a special use.

A list of tree farms and “U-cuts” around the province can be found on the BC Christmas Tree Council’s website at http://bcchristmastrees.com.


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