The Tonto National Forest will sell over-the-counter Christmas tree permits beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18.
Each Christmas tree permit is $15, payable by cash, credit card or personal check. Permits can be purchased at the following locations during hours indicated:
Supervisor’s Office: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed for lunch from 1 to 1:30 p.m. 2324 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix. (602) 225-5200
Mesa Ranger District: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed for lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m. 5140 E. Ingram Street, Mesa. (480) 610-3300
Payson Ranger District: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed for lunch from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Note: hours will include 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays beginning Nov. 23 thru Dec. 21.
A permit allows the holder to cut a tree within any designated cutting site on the Tonto National Forest—regardless of whether the permit was purchased at the Supervisor’s Office or one of the three ranger districts—beginning Monday, Nov. 18.
Permits will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis until they are gone.Permits must be purchased in person; payment options include cash, check or credit card. Customers will receive a map that shows the designated cutting areas.Maps will include additional Christmas tree cutting instructions.
Fourth-grade students are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit, while supplies last, through the Every Kid Outdoors initiative—a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of conservationists.All fourth graders are eligible to receive a pass that allows free access to federal lands and waters across the country for a full year.
In support of this initiative, the Forest Service is making available a free Christmas tree permitto every interested fourth grader with a pass or paper voucher.More information about the initiative and how to obtain a pass is available by visiting https://everykidoutdoors.gov/index.htm.
To be eligible for a free Christmas tree permit from your local national forest office, all fourth graders must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and present their pass or paper voucher.
Rules for Christmas tree permits
- Each Christmas tree permit allows permit holders to cut a tree up to 10 feet tall
- One tree per household. One person may purchase up to four permits for other families not
living in the household
- Permits are for personal use only
- No refunds on Christmas tree permits
- Cutting dates are Monday, Nov. 18 through Tuesday, Dec. 24
- Tree cutters are reminded to be prepared for sudden weather changes and colder conditions when in high elevations. A fun family outing can become miserable and even dangerous with a quick change of weather for the unprepared.
- Forest officials recommend cutting your tree early in the season before the higher elevations are snow bound. To help keep your tree fresh, cut two inchesfrom the bottom of your tree when you get home and place it in water. Keep your tree watered and in a shady spot until you are ready to move it into the house.
- Another helpful hint is to bring an old tarp to wrap your tree in. Then when you drag your tree out of the forest, the tarp protects the tree, helps you avoid breaking branches and can also help avoid wind damage on the way home.