The perfect holiday tree close to home
By Patte Smith
The Colorado mountains are an ideal place to camp, hike, fish, and enjoy searching for the perfect family Christmas tree. This can be a great outing for everyone – families and friends can trek though the pines to locate the tree that will be the centerpiece of their holiday season. Pack a picnic and make a day of it; making memories are an important part of the holiday season. Trees available for cutting in Colorado include Douglas-Fir, Lodgepole Pine, Rocky Mountain Juniper, and Ponderosa Pine.
Close to Douglas County, two areas sell the required permits to cut trees. The South Platte Ranger District Christmas tree cutting permits are being handled a little differently this year. While mail-in permit requests this year had to be received by October 24, permits can be purchased in person at the Morrison Office, 19316 Goddard Ranch Court, starting on November 3 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. (Be sure to check with the Morrison office to see if permits are still available if you plan to buy a permit in person.) The Morrison office will be closed on Tuesday, November 11. Permits are $10 per tree with a maximum of five permits per household. Cutting dates are November 28 through December 14.
For more information and a map of the tree cutting area, visit www.fs.usda.gov/detail/psicc/about-forest/districts/?cid=fsm9_032611 or call 303-275-5610.
The Pikes Peak Ranger District offers Christmas tree cutting permits for walk-in customers from December 1 through December 17 at the Pikes Peak Ranger District office, 601 South Weber Street, Colorado Springs for the Woodland Park cutting area. No mail orders will be accepted. Permits will also be available on site at the Woodland Park Middle School parking lot on the weekends of December 6 and 7, and December 13 and 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Permits are $10 per tree, with a limit of five permits per household. Cash, check, or money order is accepted but not credit cards. Christmas trees may be cut any time after purchase of a permit from December 1 through December 17.
For more information about Woodland Park area tree cutting, call 719-636-1602, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.