If you are considering cutting a wild tree from the forest visit the USDA Forest Service website. You can purchase a permit for $10 at your local REI store or Ranger Station. If you’re purchasing through the Ranger Station be sure to bring cash with you. They do not accept debit or credit.
A few things to remember:
- Trees harvested from the wild are far from picturesque, they are often crooked or missing branches.
- Don’t cut a tree in an open area, it’s better for the forest to cut one that is in a clump with other trees.
- Bring an orange ribbon to put on the tip of your tree in case it hangs out of the back of your vehicle
- Don’t forget rope and to tie down your tree securely.
- Check weather conditions.
- Bring a saw.
- Don’t venture to far off the road or path and get lost in your pursuit for the perfect tree.
- Lastly, don’t forget to bundle up and bring some hot cocoa and snacks.
What we learned during our adventure
Our daughter wanted a tree from the great outdoors this year, no tree farm would do for her this year. The perfect tree had to be found. So, we bundled up and headed for the ranger station to get a permit and then on into the Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest. We found a place to park on a side road and did much tromping around in the wilderness before we found the perfect tree. After cutting it down, dragging it back to the truck, and getting it back home we realized without the snow weighing the branches down, the branches stuck out much farther than we thought. We had to cut the top off the tree to stand it up in our house and then we also found that we had to cut all the branches off on two sides of the tree to get it to fit in the corner without covering the whole living room with branches. Once we started decorating, we realized the branches were too weak to hold any weight, so only the lightest ornaments were able to be put on the tree.
Despite the fact that the tree has given us some challenges and began dropping nettles like a ticker tape parade days before Christmas. It is the perfect tree because it was picked with love and we did it together.