If you want to cut down your own Christmas tree in Alaska this year, there are some options on public lands.

State lands

Alaska residents can cut Christmas trees for free on certain state lands.

  • No permit is needed.
  • Limit one tree per household.
  • Must be no taller than 15 feet.
  • Cut tree as low to the ground as possible.

Cutting trees in state parks or experimental forests is prohibited. Check the Department of Natural Resources for maps, other regulations and tips.

Chugach National Forest

There are certain areas of the Chugach National Forest open for Christmas tree cutting.

  • No permit is needed.
  • One tree per household or organization.
  • Cut tree as low to the ground as possible stumps should not be more than 6 inches tall.

Check the map to make sure you are on land managed by the Forest Service and cut trees at least 200 feet away from roads and 450 feet from campgrounds, trails, administration areas, bodies of water and picnic areas.

For more tips and regulations head to the Forest Service wesite.

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

You can cut your own Christmas tree in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day.

  • Limit one tree per household.
  • Must be no taller than 20 feet.
  • Must use only hand tools.
  • Cut tree as low to the ground as possible.

The trees can be taken from anywhere on the refuge except within 150 feet of a road, lake, stream, trail, campground or picnic area. Also, no cutting is allowed along Ski Hill Road or in the Refuge Headquarters/Visitor Center.

For more information, you can contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge office during regular business hours at (907) 262-7021.

Matanuska Valley Moose Range and the Matanuska and Susitna valleys 

In the Matanuska Valley Moose Range and the Matanuska and Susitna valleys you can harvest a Christmas tree from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day.

  • No permit is needed.
  • Limit one tree per household.   
  • Must be no taller than 15 feet.
  • Cut tree as low to the ground as possible.

Public cutting is not allowed on Alaska Native land, private property and state parks and Department of Transportation rights-of-way. To make sure you are cutting in the right area check the Division of Forestry maps or call their office in Palmer at 907-761-6300.

Matanuska-Susitna Borough

The Jim Creek Recreation Area will be open for tree cutting through Christmas.

You must have a permit, which are available for purchase online or at the borough office located at 350 East Dahlia Ave. in Palmer.

You can find tips for caring for your live Christmas tree through the state Department of Natural Resources.

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