Cut your own Christmas tree

The Personal Use Forest Products Permit allows Albertans to harvest trees from designated Crown land areas for free. The permit has been available for decades, under previous names such as Forest Product Tags or TM66.

The permit is valid for 30 days and allows the holder to harvest up to:

  • 3 Christmas trees
  • 5 cubic metres (5 m3) –  that is about 3 full-sized half-ton truck boxes of roundwood for building logs, fence post, poles and rails, or
  • 5 m3 of firewood

The permit can also be used to transplant up to 20 trees.

‘This is the most popular time of year for the permit,’ says Wendy Machan, information specialist with Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development.

Last year, nearly 18,000 Alberta families harvested Christmas trees with the permit. Getting a Personal Use Forest Products Permit before harvesting Crown trees is the law. The permit is only valid for personal use tree cutting, not for re-selling trees.

‘You can get a permit online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,’ says Machan. ‘This permit is an important tool for helping us keep track of the harvesting activities out in our forests. It also outlines the rules surrounding harvesting trees from Crown land and provide tips to the permit holder on how to harvest trees safely.’

Personal use tree cutting is only allowed in approved areas and is taken into account when Alberta authorizes the annual allowable cut for sustainable management of Alberta’s Crown forests.

Harvesting Christmas trees in Alberta provincial parks and recreation areas is strictly prohibited and carries a large fine. The only exception is designated areas in Cypress Hills Provincial Park and the Castle parks with a valid, separate permit from Alberta Parks.

‘This year we launched a new interactive map to help Albertans know exactly where they’re allowed to cut a tree,’ says Machan.

‘Simply click on the interactive tool and navigate to your desired location. You’ll notice landmarks like major roads, waterways and boundaries are clearly marked. Once you’ve found where you want to go, you can take the digital map out with you or print a copy of the page before you leave for the forest.’

Contact

Connect with the Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development’s Forestry Division:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-6807
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

For media inquiries about this article, call Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development’s media line:

Phone: 780-422-1005

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