Photo: Dendroica/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
The U.S. Forest Service announced the possibility to visit the Shawnee National Forest and cut a personal Christmas tree this year.
Christmas tree permits will be available to purchase online here beginning Nov. 15.
Christmas Tree Permits cost $5.00 (one permit allowed per household), plus a $2.50 online transaction fee. The permit allows for one Eastern Red Cedar tree to be cut and taken home. Officials said permittees must harvest the Eastern Red Cedar on Shawnee National Forest land and chainsaws may be used for cutting the tree. They must also follow Forest Service motor vehicle restrictions in removal and hauling of their Christmas tree. Trees cannot be cut from any restricted areas listed on the permit.
According to officials, cutting a Christmas tree can also help improve forest health. The permit system helps to thin densely populated stands of small-diameter trees.
Removing some Christmas trees allows more available nutrients and extra space to grow for the trees that are left standing. Opening up groves of cedar trees can also improve foraging habitat for a variety of wildlife species.