Home»Sports & Outdoor»One of Christmas’ Oldest Traditions: Where to (Legally) Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

One of Christmas’ Oldest Traditions: Where to (Legally) Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

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One of the fondest Christmas memories anyone can create is hunting for one’s own Christmas tree. For some families they find their tree within the first couple minutes and then spend the rest of the day sledding, having a spirited snowball fight, and drinking hot chocolate. For others, hunting for a Christmas tree is meticulous work to find the absolute perfect tree that will light up the home once it’s decorated. Southern Oregon offers plenty of areas and types of trees to legally cut your own Christmas trees. Here are a few options locals visit every year to find their tree:


Fish Lake Area: Brown Mountain Road near Fish Lake is 35 miles northeast of Medford and offers beautiful noble fir trees. The roads are well-maintained and the landscape is flat enough to easily traverse through the snow in pursuit of the perfect tree. However, there are more than a few ideal sledding hills as well. If there’s enough snow, of course.

Rancheria Road: Rancheria Rd in the Butte Falls area offers picturesque silver tips trees. Tree cutters should be cautious of areas where tree cutting is restricted. Maps are available to show which areas are legal and illegal to cut once a permit is purchased.

Old Baldy Road: The area near Dead Indian Road is home to hiking trails and views of Old Baldy, an old fire lookout site. Also in the area are destinations to legally cut Christmas trees. With a well-known hiking trail near the Pacific Crest Trail, Old Baldy Road offers an ideal location to hunt for a Christmas tree and spend a full day outdoors hiking in the snow. 


Southern Oregon locals are lucky to have more than one place to legally cut their own Christmas trees. Remember first and foremost to purchase the five dollar cutting permit before going out and stick to legal cutting locations in Medford District BLM-administered lands. 

The rules and regulations surrounding cutting your own Christmas tree are simple. Trees must be less than 12 feet tall, you can only cut a tree within 15 feet of another tree, and tree stumps must be less than 12 inches after cutting. For more information about where to purchase a permit and legal cutting locations, visit fs.usda.gov.

This article originally ran in our 05.21 issue.

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