Christmas trees can be cut in White Mountain National Forest (but it’ll take some work)

  • White Mountain National Forest map. Courtesy—WMNF

Monitor staff
Published: 11/30/2017 12:17:08 AM

There’s another, particularly New Hampshire-ish option for getting a Christmas tree: Cut down a wild one in the White Mountain National Forest.

Yes, it’s legal, although you need a permit. These can be purchased for $5 at any of the Forest Service offices.

There are some limits, of course.

Notably, you can’t use a chainsaw. You have to invest some sweat equity this holiday.

You can’t cut a tree bigger than 8 inches in diameter at chest height – although if you’re limited to hand saws, you probably wouldn’t want to – and the remaining stump must be less than 10 inches tall.

Trees have to be for personal use, not for resale, and only one tree can be cut per family.

Make sure you are on National Forest land before sawing away, and don’t cut trees near campgrounds, picnic areas, wilderness areas, active timber sales, or within 100 feet of a state highway.

Pack down any piles of cut limbs, and make sure they are at least 25 feet away from roads, streams, trails and property boundaries.

For more information, including where to buy a permit, check online with the Forest Service at

David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog, as well as moderator of Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.

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