U.S. Forest Service offers $5 cut-your-own trees

RUTLAND — At this time of year the adventure of going out to get a Christmas tree is a much-anticipated ritual of the season — and a pricey one. There is an alternative, however. Should they be interested, the U.S. Forest Service officials in Vermont offer the public Christmas tree removal permits for $5. A family can start a new tradition of making the trek into the National Forest to choose their tree.
This year, all fourth graders can take advantage of the Every Kid in a Park initiative and get a free Christmas tree voucher by going to everykidinapark.gov. Fourth graders that present a printed copy of the voucher may redeem it for an EKIP Pass and a Christmas tree removal permit at one of the U.S. Forest offices, located in Rutland, Manchester and Rochester. Christmas trees for personal use may be cut on the Green Mountain National Forest, subject to the following conditions:
• A “Christmas Tree Removal” permit must be purchased ($5.00) at one of the Forest Service offices located in Rutland, Manchester Center, or Rochester, Vt.
• The permit must be attached to the tree before transporting it from the site where it was cut.
• The permit holder is responsible for knowing that the tree comes from Forest Service land. Maps are available when purchasing the permit.
• Trees over 20 feet tall are not designated for cutting by the Christmas tree permit.
• The height of the tree stump left after a tree has been cut should be six inches or less above the soil.
• Christmas trees shall not be cut in active timber sales, wilderness areas, campgrounds, picnic areas, or within 25 feet of any Forest Service, town, or state maintained road.
• Only one Christmas tree permit will be issued per household per year.
• Permits are not refundable.
• Trees obtained under the Christmas tree permit may not be resold.
Rutland: Forest Supervisor’s Office, 231 North Main St., Rutland, VT 05701, 802-747-6700.
Manchester Ranger Station: 2538 Depot Street, Manchester Center, VT 05255, 802-362-2307.
Rochester Ranger Station: 99 Ranger Road, Rochester, VT 05767, 802-767-4261.

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