Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree in Montana - The How To

Plastic or real?  Buy or harvest?  They are some of the toughest questions after Halloween ends.  Are you a traditionalist or you just don't care what is in the living room to put things under?


It's time to get to harvesting something else during hunting season.  A Christmas tree hunt is waiting for you to make memories in our national forests.

Don't Forget the Permit Before You Head Out on Your Adventure

Yes, you need a permit to cut your own tree in our national forests.  But it is incredibly easy to get one.  Each permit is $5, and you are allowed to cut up to 3 trees for your home.  Or, for other family members that may need one.

Google Maps/JD Graphix
Google Maps/JD Graphix

Permits are available now online through the Forest Service website at or you can stop by any of the forest service stations in each of the national forests to purchase yours.  In Great Falls our office is located at 1220 28th Street North.  Other locations around our area include Neihart, Stanford, Choteau, Augusta and Lincoln.

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7 Tips to Help You During This Christmas Tree Season Hunt

Before you head out to retrieve your tree, has some excellent tips to help on the journey.

  1. Measure the space in your house so you can pick the right size tree once you are in the forest.
  2. Check road and forest conditions and prepare for adverse weather.
  3. Make sure you are in a designated cutting area or follow guidelines for locations where tree cutting is allowed. Avoid venturing on to private property.
  4. Choose a tree in an overcrowded stand to help thin the area.
  5. Cut your tree close to the ground. The stump you leave behind should be about 6 inches.
  6. Bring a rope and tarp to move your tree from the cutting area to your vehicle.
  7. Secure your tree to your vehicle to ensure it remains in place for your trip home.

Bundle up, have a great time and make memories right now by hunting for your Christmas tree!

Put a Little Color in Your Christmas Tree

Want to put a little color into your holiday season? Try a colored Christmas tree this year.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

Colorful Flocked Christmas Trees

Timberland Nursery in Lufkin is bringing all of the colors of the rainbow out to celebrate Christmas.

Gallery Credit: Dan Patrick

10 Years of Christmas Trees in Rockefeller Center

Check out more than a decade of Christmas trees in Rockefeller Center.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

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