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Where to cut down your Christmas tree in southern Colorado

SOUTHERN COLORADO, Colo. (KRDO) — Looking to take part in the age old tradition of chopping down your own Christmas tree this holiday season? 

There are several districts you can go to in the Pike & San Isabel National Forests for a tree.

The Pikes Peak Ranger District is closest to Colorado Springs, with permits available 11/27 - 12/16.

The Pikes Peak Ranger District will be offering Christmas tree cutting permits online only at https://www.recreation.gov/tree-permits/49f7193c-e64e-11ea-a244-5e6d4b9f6262.

Permits cost $20.00 per tree, with a limit of 5 permits per person. 

You can cut down Conifer (evergreen) trees of various species, including Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, Engelmann spruce, and Limber pine. The Forest Service cautions that some Douglas fir trees have been damaged by Western Spruce Budworm.

The trees may be cut on National Forest System lands northwest of Woodland Park off Forest Service Roads 339 and 342, and in the north Divide area.

Here is a map of the cutting areas. Chainsaws are not allowed. The Pikes Peak Ranger District says you need to bring a handsaw and equipment to load and tie the tree to your vehicle. 

The South Platte Ranger District is closest to Denver, with cutting allowed in the Buffalo Creek area. Permits are available 10/15 - 12/31. Click here for more information.

The South Park Ranger District encircles South Park. The area offers a more laid back experience, with unlimited permits and most of the district being open for cutting. Permits are available 10/15-12/31. Click here for more information.

The Salida Ranger District is located along the Continental Divide surrounding the communities of Salida and Buena Vista. Permits are available 11/20 - 12/31. Click here for more information

The Leadville Ranger District encompasses the town of Leadville and the home of multiple mountains over 14,000 feet. Permits are available 11/20 - 12/31. Click here for more information.

The San Carlos Ranger District includes the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, the Wet Mountains and the Spanish Peaks. Permits are available 11/20 - 12/31. Click here for more information

You can also get a tree from the San Juan National Forest in the southwest part of the state. For information about San Juan National Forest permits click here. You can find maps of tree cutting areas by clicking here.

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Willis Scott

Willis Scott is an evening anchor for KRDO. Learn more about Willis here.

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