Cut your own Christmas tree

December 01, 2004 11:00 pm

PERMITS

They cost $5 each, and the limit is three permits per household, or 10 for a business or club. Permits are available at local Forest Service offices — 3165 10th St., and the David J. Wheeler Federal Building, 1550 Dewey Ave. York's, 1549 Campbell St., also sells permits. The 10th Street office dispenses permits from a vending machine inside the lobby, which is open 24 hours a day.

WHERE CAN I CUT?

Anywhere on national forest land (make sure you're not on private property) except: campgrounds, Baker City watershed, Ski Anthony Lakes resort, signed old-growth forests, timber sales, wilderness areas, or within 20 feet of a stream channel or 50 feet of a road.

MISCELLANEOUS

o Don't cut a tree that's taller than 20 feet

o Leave stumps no taller than six inches, and remove branches from the stump (you can keep the branches)

o Look for a tree that has similar-sized or larger trees within 20 feet

o Before you load the tree, punch out the day, month and year from your permit, and strap it to the tree trunk with the plastic tie that comes with the permit

o If you don't decorate your tree soon, store it in a place protected from the wind, and dunk the trunk in a bucket of water. Just before you bring the tree indoors, make a fresh cut on the trunk, then immediately place the tree in a water-filled stand. Add water daily, as needed.

o Bring warm clothes, food and water for you and your fellow tree hunters, and tire chains for your vehicle. Snowplows rarely venture onto forest roads. If you own a cell phone, toss it in the glove box, too.