‘Tis the Season for a Free, Alaska-grown Christmas Tree
With the Christmas season fast approaching, now is the perfect time to trek into the woods to find an Alaska-grown tree to help celebrate the holidays.
A Christmas tree is the focal point for many home holiday decorations, and while local retailers sell imported trees, many Alaskans prefer to venture into the woods to seek out and harvest their own tree, for free. Helping make this possible is one of the Alaska Division of Forestry’s own holiday traditions.
“Cutting an Alaska-grown Christmas tree is an annual tradition for many Alaskans and there’s no need for that to change this year,” says Governor Mike Dunleavy. “Get out there and take advantage of the great land we live in and the renewable resources it provides.”
Each household is limited to one tree, which can be no more than 15 feet high. There are no fees, and no permit is required. Maps and information on Christmas tree harvesting in Southcentral and Interior Alaska—as well as information about how to care for a fresh-cut tree—are available at http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/pic/christmastree.htm.
Given COVID-19’s impact on so many aspects of life, harvesting a Christmas tree is a perfect COVID activity: it’s outside, it’s easy to socially distance, and it’s likely that facemasks worn the cold will also help protect against the coronavirus.
Guidelines for Safe, Legal Christmas Tree Cutting on Public Lands
- Properly identify who owns the land where you intend to cut your tree. If you have any questions on land ownership, call the nearest Division of Forestry office.
- Cut trees as low and close to the ground as possible.
- Cutting trees in any state parks or experimental forests is prohibited.
- Christmas trees cut on state land are for personal use only, and may not be sold.
- The division does not maintain forest roads, so those traveling on them should have warm clothing and appropriate equipment in case they get stuck, including tire chains, shovel and tow strap.
- Do not litter, and be courteous to other tree cutters and area residents.
For a directory of area forest offices, including addresses and phone numbers, go to http://forestry.alaska.gov. Answers to additional questions are available at the Department of Natural Resource’s Public Information Centers in Anchorage (907-269-8400) or Fairbanks (907-451-2705).
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