Here's what you need to do if you want to cut down a Christmas tree in B.C. 

click to enlarge WWW.SHUTTERSTOCK.COM - Christmas tree cutting permits are now available for B.C.
  • WWW.SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Christmas tree cutting permits are now available for B.C.

If you'd like to go out into the forest and find your perfect Christmas tree, you'll need to get a permit first.

British Columbians who want to cut down their own tree on Crown land will need to get a Free Use Permit for a Christmas Tree online, or by contacting their local natural resource district office or FrontCounter BC office.

Each district is operated differently so you will have to contact the individual districts where you plan on cutting for more information.

There's no charge for the permit, however there are a few rules to follow:

• Read and understand the conditions of the permit prior to signing.

• Carry the permit at all times.

• Produce the permit at the request of a natural resource officer, conservation officer or peace officer.

• You cannot cut a Christmas tree from, private lands, plantations, research areas, parks, areas adjacent to rivers, streams, lakes or swamps, juvenile-spaced areas and any other areas reserved for a special use.

• Some permits specify only one tree can be cut.

• Check online maps provided by districts to ensure you are cutting within a designated area.

• It's illegal to sell a tree cut under a Christmas tree permit or to cut a tree in an unauthorized area.

Some areas of the province may not have Christmas trees available for harvest. There are currently no permits available in the Chilliwack Natural Resource District because of population density and tree demand.

Alternatively, there are more than 450 Christmas tree growers in B.C. that offer "U-cuts."

Christmas tree cutting tips to follow

• Leave home prepared. Bring ropes, gloves, tools, tire chains, a first-aid kit, a mobile phone and warm clothing.

• Drive carefully. Be prepared for logging trucks. Find more information HERE.

• Make sure you have found the tree you will use before cutting. Some permits specify only one tree can be cut.

• Do not leave a pointed stump as this may cause injury to livestock, wildlife, pets or other people.

• Choose a tree that can be cut near the base and is easy to transport. Wasted tree remains left in the forest can form a summer fire hazard.

• Clean up and remove all debris associated with your activity.

Links to online Christmas tree permits, as well as FrontCounter BC and natural resource district office contact information can be found HERE.

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