VICTORIA – Many people enjoy cutting their own tree at Christmas. While there is no charge for cutting a Christmas tree for personal use from a designated area of Crown land, a Free Use permit must be obtained.
British Columbians interested in cutting their own Christmas tree should obtain their permit online or contact their local district or FrontCounter BC office.
Local district offices can provide details about specific cutting requirements and approved harvest areas. Free use permits are provided for personal use only – selling a tree cut under a Christmas tree permit or cutting in an unauthorized area is illegal.
No permits are available in the Chilliwack and South Island districts due to population density and tree demand.
The ministry’s Christmas Tree website at: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/xmastrees.htm provides links to online Christmas tree permits, FrontCounter BC and district office contact information, and the B.C. Christmas Tree Council’s website containing a list of tree farms and “U-Cuts” around the province.
When cutting a Christmas tree, keep the following tips 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: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/files/tk_pdfs/gde_resrd.pdf
* Make sure you have found the tree you will use before cutting to avoid wasting forest resources. Some permits specify only one tree can be cut.
* Choose a tree that can be cut near the base and is easy to transport. Wasted tree remains left in the forest form a summer fire hazard.
* Clean up and remove all debris associated with your activity.