Family REC Humbolt-Toiyabe National forest National Forest

Where to get Christmas Trees in Reno

christmas tree humboldt toiyabe
Written by sierrarecmagazine

Sierra Rec Magazine – Reno Nevada – Did you know that you can cut your own Christmas tree if you live in the Reno Tahoe area?

Unfortunately at the time of this story Christmas tree Permits sold out for the Lake Tahoe basin. However in Reno you still have options.

Check out this video by the National Forest Service office about the Galena Creek area for Christmas Tress

Our family loves going out to find our family tree each year. Did you know that proper Christmas Tree management actually helps the National Forest stay healthy?

Christmas Tree Cutting is one way of the public self regulating over growth in our National forests. Of course keeping with in the guidelines of safe and healthy Christmas Tree Practices are essential.

This year getting a permit is as easy as logging into and purchasing your permit. Then following your assigned map areas and tree instructions to get your family tree.

The permit allows you to cut a Christmas Tree within designated areas of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest! Participating Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Ranger Districts offering permits to cut a tree in specific areas include the Carson, Bridgeport, Austin-Tonapah, Ely, and Mountain City/Ruby Mountains/Jarbidge Ranger Districts.   

  • Lifelong memories are built during these special times and we are happy to help with any information gathering you’ll need to make this trip a safe and enjoyable one. 

Need to Know

Where to Cut Your Tree

  • Each Christmas tree permit is valid for the cutting of a tree in specific areas on lands managed by the Ranger District for which the permit was purchased.
  • Do not cut in wilderness areas, designated campgrounds, or National Forest Administrative sites. 
  • Please ensure you’re truly on National Forest System lands. No cutting on private property, within county parks, and your permit is only valid for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. 
  • Do not cut within active project areas – if you see crews or heavy equipment working, please find a different area to cut. 

Selecting Your Tree

  • Stump height: 6 inches maximum
  • Stump diameter from the ground: 6 inches maximum
  • Take the whole tree. Do not remove the top of the tree; cut down the entire tree
  • If snow is on the ground, remove it from around the stump so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height.
  • Do not cut five needle pines. Popular species for Christmas trees on the Humboldt-Toiyabe are: Jeffery pine, ponderosa pine, white fir, red fir, lodgepole pine, incense cedar, pinyon pine, and western juniper. 
  • Ensure the tree you’ve selected to cut is within 10 feet of another living tree. 

Planning Your Trip

How to Plan Your Trip

  • Before you leave home, be sure to measure the space where you plan to place the tree in your home (height and width), and measure the space in your vehicle where you will be transporting the tree.
  • Cell service may be spotty or unavailable. Be sure someone knows where you are and when to expect you back.
  • Check the latest weather conditions, forest warnings and road closures before you leave on your trip.
  • Bring a map with you. Don’t rely on GPS because it may not be up-to-date with Forest Service roads.
  • Dress warmly and take extra dry clothes. Expect winter weather, including cold temperatures, snow and winds.
  • Roads may not be plowed. Carry tire chains, shovel(s) and a tow chain. Some Forest roads may be closed for the winter, do not drive around closed gates. Be sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas. Bring a spare key and give it to someone else in your party. Don’t get locked out of your car! Park in areas so that traffic can get by safely, and do not block gates.
  • Bring plenty of food and water with you as well as an overnight survival kit in case you become stranded.
  • Start your day early. Be sure to find your tree and leave the woods before dark.

Helpful Cutting Tips

  • Carry your tree carefully out of the woods. Dragging the tree will rub off needles and bark. 
  • If the tree is too big to transport inside of your vehicle, wrap it in canvas to prevent wind damage. 
  • Once home, cut the bottom of the trunk off and place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket of water. Replenish water. 
  • If storing your tree outside for a few days before putting it in the house, keep it in an area protected from the wind, such as the north or east side of your house, or under a shaded tree.
  • Tools you might want to consider bringing with you include: a measuring tape to ensure you select a tree that fits in your home; handsaw to cut your tree; gloves to protect your hands; boots to protect your feet; a tarp to sit on and/or to move your tree once it’s cut; and rope or straps to secure your tree to your vehicle.
  • Choose a tree from a dense forested area, which will give the remaining trees more space to grow.
  • Cut the leftover branches from the stump and scatter them.

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