With Thanksgiving upon us, many Leavenworth families start thinking about the annual search for a Christmas tree. For some that means searching the local parking lots for trees sold by local Boy Scout troops and high school marching bands, for others it means venturing to a local Christmas tree farm like Shelton's in Cashmere,
For our family, it means visiting the local national forest for a Christmas tree.
The first step is to buy a permit from the United States Forest Service. At $5, this a real bargain. You'll spend more in gas and hot chocolate for this adventure than you will on the permit.
In addition to local USFS offices, like the Wenatchee River Ranger District in Leavenworth, some local stores also carry the permits.
In the Lake Wenatchee area, Parkside Grocery and Plain Hardware have permits for sale.
In Leavenworth, tree permits are available at Dan's Food Market, the 76 gas station and Shell Village Mercantile.
Next you need to know where (and where NOT) to get your tree:
Areas where trees cannot be cut:
- Within congressionally designated Wilderness areas
- Within 150 feet of any stream, lake, pond, or wetland area.
- In active timber sale areas.
- Closed areas shown on the Okanogan National Forest Travel Plan map.
- On privately owned and state managed land within the National Forest boundary.
- In tree plantations, campgrounds, administrative sites, or other areas where specifically posted.
For more info on harvesting Christmas trees in the Leavenworth area visit the USFS website.