Cutting your own Christmas tree? Here’s what you need to know

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. — The Christmas season is here, and so is the time to cut your own Christmas tree.

It’s our own Dee Cortez’s first time cutting her own tree, so we followed her and her family along for the adventure.

“Well, it’s more than I expected. I figured I’d come out here and just cut down a tree. I didn’t know I was going to have to hike all over the place for it,” Cortez’s dad Frank Anzaldua said.

She also brought her uncle, Edward Rivera, who does this every year with his family in Colorado.

“It was a small, little hike, but compared to climbing fourteeners, I like to climb fourteeners, 14,000 foot peaks, only in the summer time,” said Rivera.

The forest service said because the trees are native, they aren’t as full or shapely as those sold at commercial lots.

Finding the perfect one is key.

“We kept finding a lot that were good on one side, but bad on the other. But we finally found one that was full all the way around,” Anzaldua said.

“We got our Christmas tree Saturday and the wife and I must have passed 100 trees. ‘Oh, look at this one! Oh no, this one’s better!’ We went back and forth and we finally thought we picked the perfect tree,” Rivera said.

The tree cutting area is 10,000 acres, northeast of Woodland Park on Rampart Range Road. That’s three miles from the Woodland Park Middle School.

Trees can’t be larger than six inches in diameter at the base. You must use a handsaw. Chainsaws are not permitted.

If you cut trees without a permit, you could have up to $5,000 in fines and or six months in jail.

Permits are $10 each, and there’s a limit of five per person.

You can buy them at the Pikes Peak Ranger District office at 601 South Weber Street in Colorado Springs from now until December 16. You can also get them at the east parking lot of Woodland Park Middle School from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on December 3, 4, 10 and 11.

There are also tree cutting areas in Fremont, Park and Chaffee counties. Tap here for more information on those. 

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