Why pay top dollar for a perfect Christmas tree when you can pay a nominal fee, tromp off into the woods and cut down your own?

While you might not walk away with the prettiest fir in the world, harvesting your Christmas tree from the national forest is a Pacific Northwest pastime – and a great excuse to get outside this time of year.

On this week’s episode of Peak Northwest, we get some advice from Heather Ibsen, public affairs officer with the Mount Hood National Forest, who has a lot of experience cutting Christmas trees from the forest.

While you may have some experience at u-cut farms, harvesting a tree from the woods is a little trickier and comes with a few more rules and regulations to make sure you’re not endangering the health of the forest, or your own safety, while you’re out there.

It’s a fun experience that could add a little more festivity to your holiday season – even if your Christmas tree looks a little scraggly.

Here are some highlights from this week’s show:

  • What is the appeal of harvesting a Christmas tree from the national forest?
  • Harvesting Christmas trees can actually be beneficial for the forest – if done right.
  • Everything you need to do before heading out to the forest.
  • How do you actually choose a tree and cut it down?
  • Safety is a big concern for folks headed out to harvest trees.

Here’s the full episode.

See more details about how to harvest a Christmas tree from a national forest in our previous story.

Get your own Christmas tree permit at Recreation.gov and see details about harvesting a tree in the Mount Hood National Forest online.

You can subscribe to Peak Northwest on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Follow Peak Northwest on Instagram at @PeakNorthwest.

— Jim Ryan and Jamie Hale

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