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Lake Almanor residents Tim O'Brien and Susan Bryner are joined by their family for the annual Christmas tree hunt. Photo submitted

Off to the woods we go to pick our perfect Christmas tree

Submitted by Katherine Sansone

Time to continue a family tradition or start one of cutting down the perfect Christmas Tree.  Plumas County is home to Lassen National Forest and the Plumas National Forest giving you access to over two million acres of forest waiting for finding the family tree.

Christmas Tree Permit for Lassen National Forest

Permits are available by mail by completing application and for a fee of $10 to the addresses below. Permit applications must be received by Dec. 10.

Lassen National Forest

  • Almanor Ranger District, 900 E. Hwy 36, P.O. Box 767, Chester CA 96020, 530. 258.2141
  • Eagle Lake Ranger District, 477-050 Eagle Lake Road, Susanville, CA 96130, 530.257.4188
  • Hat Creek Ranger District, 43225 E. Hwy 299, P.O. Box 220, Fall River Mills, CA 96028, 530.336.5521
  • Old Station Visitor’s Center, 13435 Riverside Dr., Susanville CA 96130, 530.257.2151
  • Supervisor’s Office, 2550 Riverside Drive, Susanville, CA 96130, 530.257.2151

Permits are available

  • Ayoob’s Intermountain Hardware,201 Main Steet, Chester, 530.258.2611 (cash only)
  • Lake Almanor Ace Hardware, 417 Main Street, Chester, CA 530.258.3955

Please note that there is a limit of two trees per household.

Lassen National Forest Map

Christmas Tree Permit for Plumas National Forest

Permits may be purchased online at  Plumas National Forest Christmas Tree Permit in California – Recreation.gov. or in person at the following locations. Please call ahead to confirm days and hours that they are open:

  • Greenville Work Center, 128 Hot Springs Road, Greenville, CA 95947 530.284.7126
  • Hough Ranger District, 39696 Hwy 70, Quincy, CA 95971 530.283.0555
  • Supervisor’s Office. 159 Lawrence Street, Quincy, CA 95971 530.293.2050
  • Beckwourth Ranger District, 23 Mohawk Hwy, Blairsden, CA 96102 530.836.2575
  • Feather River Ranger District, 875 Mitchell Avenue, Oroville, CA 95965, 530.534.6500

Plumas National Forest Map

Know Before You Go

  • There are limited Christmas Tree permits issued.
  • Make sure to tell someone where you are going.
  • Do not plan on your cell phone working.
  • Plan for contingencies of muddy or snow-covered roads, flat tires and delays.
  • Required to have a permit and maps with you when cutting Christmas trees.
  • Plan for unexpected weather changes. Know your location and ability to traverse through snow.
  • Be prepared for the cold and snow, and start tree hunting early in the day to have plenty of daylight hours.
  • Bring emergency supplies, including water, food and a first-aid kit.
  • Pay attention in burned areas for hazard trees, debris and falling rocks.
  • Bring tools needed, ie., tape measure (trees can be bigger than they look), hand saw, gloves, tarp, ropes and or tie downs.

Guidelines for Selecting Trees 

  • The tree you choose must be at least 200 feet from main roads, recreation sites and campgrounds. Stay away from areas along the sides of streams, rivers, lakes and wet areas.
  • Select a tree with a trunk six inches or less in diameter, and prepare to cut the tree no more than six inches above ground level.
  • Never cut a tall tree just for the top.
  • Select a tree from overstocked areas and thickets, this helps with overall forest health.
  • Do not cut in restricted areas.
  •  Cut only one tree per tag.
  • Attach your tree tag to the harvested tree before placing it in your vehicle.

“Most of all, have fun creating a wonderful day and holiday memories and don’t to forget to pack the mulled wine, schnapps laced hot chocolate and brandy . . . it can get cold out there,” says Sharon Roberts, board member for the Feather River Tourism Board.

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