It’s almost December, which means some Vancouver Island families are getting ready to put up their Christmas tree.
But if you don’t want to buy your tree at the store, are you allowed to cut down your own Christmas tree? Yes, but you need a permit and you can only get your tree in authorized areas.
Before you go to cut your own tree on Crown land, you must get your “Free Use Permit for a Christmas Tree” either online or by contacting their local district or a FrontCounter B.C. office. There are online maps provided
The permits are for personal use only. Selling a tree cut under a Christmas tree permit, or cutting a tree in an unauthorized area, is illegal.The unauthorized areas include private lands, plantations, research areas, parks, areas adjacent to rivers, streams, lakes or swamps, juvenile-spaced areas and any other areas reserved for special use.
There are also no permits available in the Chilliwack District due to population density and the demand for trees. Some areas of the province may not have Christmas trees available for harvest.
There no charge for the permit, but people who obtain one must be 19-years-old, carry the permit at all times, read and understand the conditions of the permit prior to signing and produce the permit at the request of a natural resource officer, a conservation officer or a peace officer.
People who are cutting a Christmas tree are reminded to:
- Leave home prepared. Bring ropes, gloves, tools, tire chains, a first aid kit, a mobile phone and warm clothing.
- Drive carefully. Be prepared for logging trucks.
- Make sure you have found the tree you will use before cutting. Some permits specify only one tree can be cut.
- Choose a tree that can be cut near the base and is easy to transport. Wasted tree remains left in the forest can form a summer fire hazard.
- Clean up and remove all debris associated with your activity.
Here is a map showing the different districts to inquire about Christmas tree permits:
Visit the B.C. government’s Christmas Tree Permits page for more information.