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Cutting your own tree has several options and can save you money


RHINELANDER, WI (WSAU) -  If you like searching for that perfect Christmas tree, or maybe you want to save money, consider cutting your own. That’s according to Dave Melancon with the U.S. Forest Service office in Rhinelander.

He says many families go to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest every year to pick out their tree, cut it down, and take it home, all for a five dollar cutting permit.

Melancon says there are a few basic rules to follow when you cut your own tree.  "We ask that you select a tree that is fifty feet into the woods from a roadway, stay off private property, and other than that, choose the tree that's right for you."

He advises people cutting their own trees to prepare like any other winter time trip in the woods by wearing proper clothes, go in daylight, let people know where you're going, and take your cellphone in case you need help.

Forest Service permits come with a list of guidelines that include reminders that no trees may be cut in wilderness areas, marked timber sale areas or within 300 feet of campgrounds, lodges, summer homes, private lands and ranger stations.

You might also consider cutting your tree from a tree farm. Ashley Andre from the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection says a visit to a tree farm can be a great family outing that might include a wagon ride, hot chocolate and more. Buying farm-grown Wisconsin greens this holiday supports local communities and the economy. The state is home to over 400 licensed Christmas tree growers.

Link to list of tree farms:  


U.S. Forest Service-Rhinelander, Contact: Dave Melancon, 715-362-1362 or your local district range office.

Eagle River (715) 479-2827Florence (715) 528-4464Lakewood (715) 276-6333

Laona (715) 674-4481

Glidden (715) 264-2511Hayward (715) 634-4821Washburn (715) 373-2667Medford (715) 748-4875Park Falls (715) 762-2461