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Picking the Perfect Christmas Tree

You’ve made reservations for your favorite property in Red River for Christmas, from your favorite rental company, Reservations Unlimited of course. The whole family is coming and you can’t wait to spend time with them and make memories that will last forever, but you’re missing one thing. Don’t worry you can purchase a Tree Permit from Recreation to pick your very own Christmass tree and cut it down to take back to your property.

Tree permits range from $5 to $15 a tree with a max of 3 trees. Below are some guidelines on where to cut your tree, selecting your tree, and how to cut down your tree.

Where to Find Your Red River Christmas Tree

You must find a tree that is 100 feet or more away from any major highway, forest road, campground trail, and river. Do not cut in any active timber areas where new trees have recently been planted. Do not cut any tree on private land, in any wilderness areas, or campgrounds. Use this MUVM of the Questa Ranger District that shows routes and trails open for motor vehicle access when searching for a tree.

Selecting Your Perfect Christmas Tree

Your perfect Christmas tree can be up to 20 feet tall. Depending on which permit you purchase, decides the height of the tree you can cut down. Once you find a tree you like, be sure that the stump height is at least 6 inches. You may cut down your tree or dig it up and remove it from the ground. If you decide to remove it from the ground it is asked that you fill the hole with dirt. You may not remove the top of the tree, you must take the whole tree. Bristlecone Pine is the only tree that is not allowed to be cut down or removed from the ground.

How to Cut Your Fresh Christmas Tree

Some tools you should bring with you on your tree cutting adventure are a saw, gloves, a measuring tape, a tarp and some rope or straps. Use the measuring tape to ensure your tree will fit in your home. Wearing gloves will protect your hands from cold weather and the needles of the tree from poking you. The saw can be used to cut down your tree as well as the lower branches from the stump. Use the tarp to wrap your tree before carrying it to your vehicle and then strap the tree onto the roof so that it doesn’t slide off. Dragging your tree can tear off branches and needles, so it is best to use your muscles to carry it out of the forest.

Cell phone service may be bad in some areas so be sure someone else knows where you are going and when you are expected back. Expect cold weather so pack extra clothes or wear extra layers in case the wind picks up or it begins to snow. Start out on your adventure in the early morning and be out of the woods before dark.

Purchase your tree permit before arriving and surprise the family with an adventure of a lifetime. Gather around the Christmas tree and string popcorn and cereal on the fishing line to decorate the tree. This will be a Christmas memory that will last a lifetime. Merry Christmas from your Reservations Unlimited Family!

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