Alaskans are starting to decorate for the approaching holiday season, and for many, the tree can be a focal point of holiday decorations.
While several retailers sell Christmas trees, some folks prefer to venture outside to select and cut their own tree. If you are one of those people, the Alaska Division of Forestry provides for this holiday tradition.
“Cutting an Alaska-grown Christmas tree is an annual tradition for many Alaskans,” said Governor Michael J. Dunleavy. “It’s fun to get outside and enjoy the beauty of Alaska winters, it’s free, and it’s just one more way we are helping Alaskans benefit directly from our common lands and resources.”
Alaska residents are allowed to cut Christmas trees on state lands that are open for cutting. There is no permit or fee required. The maximum tree height is 15 feet and the limit is one tree per household.
The Department of Natural Resources offers multi-agency maps and information for harvesting Christmas trees in Southcentral and Interior Alaska at http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/pic/christmastree.htm.
The site also has instructions on how to care for your fresh-cut Christmas tree.
Here are some guidelines for safe, legal cutting of Christmas trees 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 your local 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.
- Division of Forestry does not maintain forest roads. Anyone traveling on forest roads should have appropriate gear and equipment in the event they get stuck, including tire chains, shovel, tow strap and warm clothing.
- Do not litter, and be courteous to other tree cutters and/or area residents.