Christmas, Forestry, News

Don’t chop down a Christmas tree in a state forest

Can you go into the Tillamook State Forest (or a different state forest) and chop down a Christmas tree to put in your living room?

No, the Oregon Department of Forestry says.

The state agency doesn’t issue permits for Christmas trees, and you are not allowed to waltz into state forestland and down a tree.

“We really appreciate everyone working to “do the right thing” on State Forest lands,” the agency said in a short blog post. You can, however, head to a national forest to cut down a Christmas tree—more info on that here—or get one from a private farm (some farms in Washington and Tillamook and Yamhill Counties are listed here.

That being said, there are ways you can assemble a festive wreath for your own use.

Under the special forest products category, individuals can gather up to a certain amount of materials for their own use. If you gather larger amounts, or plan to sell them, you may need a commercial license, depending on the materials gathered and their volume.

“No permit is required for collecting special forest products for personal use from state forestland in the Astoria, Tillamook, Forest Grove, North Cascade, or West Oregon districts,” ODF said on a webpage devoted to the topic.

For personal use, some wreath materials you can legally gather include boughs, Oregon grape, ferns, manzanita, and salal, up to 12 cubic feet, or about 16 grocery bags full, ODF says.

See the full listing of allowed materials here.

Some other materials require a permit, or you’ll need a permit if you plan to make a LOT of wreaths.

The regulations can be a bit tricky on what you can and cannot gather, so if you’re uncertain, give your local ODF office a call.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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