From the Wild

It’s time to cut parking lots and tree farms for good


Whether it’s on a license plate, in the fragrance of an Oregon inspired candle, or inked on the forearm of a die-hard native, our state tree - the Douglas fir - never goes out of season. Living in a state that proudly displays the Christmas tree 365, it’s our duty as Oregonians to take our tree hunting to the next level.

This year, instead of visiting the nearest grocery store parking lot or overpriced tree farm, find your fir in its natural habitat. For only $5 (did we just say $5?!), adventurous Oregonians like yourself can purchase a U.S. Forest Service permit and embark on harvesting your very own tree from one of the many national forests in our backyard. For the extreme adventurer, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing to access areas off the beaten path.

Don’t forget to pack our Red Pinot Noir and White Bubbles on your adventure! Paired with peppermint bark, popcorn, or trail mix, you are sure to be the hippest hunter in the woods. Wine in a National Forest? That’s what we like to call #BeyondtheBottle.

Continue reading to get the lowdown on how to cut parking lots and tree farms for good.

  1. Grab a Permit: For just $5, buy your Mt. Hood National Forest permit online and get helpful tips on when, where, and how to cut your tree. If you want to hunt for your tree in a different national forest such as the Deschutes or Ochoco, pick up a product permit at your nearest U.S. Forest Service district office or Bi-Mart.

  2. Know the Rules: Once you have your permit, you will be given information on the designated areas where you can hunt for your tree. Make sure to respect restrictions such as cutting in wilderness areas, on private property, near streams, state highways, or campgrounds.

  3. Chop Your Tree: You have found the perfect tree! Now what? Before claiming it as your own, make sure the tree is under 12-feet tall and within 8-feet of a tree that is similar in size. If those two boxes are checked, leave 6-inches of the stump in the forest and remove any branches. Immediately attach your permit tag to your tree and begin the trek back to your car.

  4. Safety First: Make sure to always be aware of your surroundings, the path to return to your car, and the time of day. Pack in emergency supplies and drink responsibly!

For more tips on how to make your Christmas tree hunt a holiday hit, watch the U.S. Forest Service video and read up on additional tree cutting guidelines

Enjoy the adventure of Oregon-style tree hunting #BeyondtheBottle!


Born and raised in Oregon, Madi Budge is always looking for her next PNW adventure. When she isn’t busy with her studies at Oregon State, she loves hitting the slopes at Timberline, wake boarding on the Willamette, hiking in Central Oregon and running the Forest Park trails.