Cut Your Own Christmas Tree In A National Forest: Here’s How!
If you really want the full 'Christmas Vacation' Griswold's cut-your-own tree in the wild experience, you can have it not too far away from the Capital Region.
Maybe like me you have seen 'Christmas Vacation' a thousand times, and as laden as it is with mishaps, there is just something you can appreciate about the Griswold family trip in the 'ol 'front-wheel-drive sleigh' to cut down their Christmas tree:
Maybe this scene gets ya thinking: can I venture out into the wild to cut down my own tree?
Is It Legal In New York To Cut Down A Christmas Tree In A Public Forest?
The answer is yes and no, and it all depends on local and national laws. According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, "Unauthorized cutting of live trees...is prohibited..." in state forests. Now if you know someone with private land, I am sure you can have at it and cut down a tree on their property if they give you permission. But just like anything, check your local ordinances first - you never know what laws could be on the books.
There Is One Area Publicly Owned Forest Where YOU CAN Cut A Tree
So what if you do not know someone with private land?
Those New York tree laws do not apply to United States national forests - where IT IS LEGAL to harvest your own Christmas tree. And guess what? If you are up a little trip to get your tree, The Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont is pretty much in the Capital Region's backyard. According to the US Forest Service all you need to do is buy a tree cutting permit for $5, which you can purchase here. They also outline what areas of the forest you can cut down your tree.
Now personally, I'll stick with my yearly trip to Bob's to get our tree. Our family has a hard enough time choosing a Christmas tree in a field of thousands of Christmas trees, I can't imagine how long it would take to find one in the wild!
But if venturing out into the wild this year to get your Christmas tree is right up your alley, have at it in the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont! Just don't pull a Clark Griswold and forget the saw!
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