How and Where to Cut Your Own Christmas Tree in a Forest

Did you know you can cut your own Christmas tree in one of Oregon's national forests? It's completely legal and even encouraged by the forest service as a way to keep the forest healthy.

By bringing home a tree from the wild to enjoy with your family, you help preserve other trees by ensuring they receive more sun, water, and nutrients so the forest, as a whole, can thrive for generations to come.

I'm sharing all my tips and tricks for finding and chopping down your holiday tree in the mountains.


Although you can cut down a tree in many parts of Oregon, living in Bend, Oregon (where I am) has the advantage of being surrounded by national forest land.


The town’s westernmost edge is bounded almost entirely by the Deschutes National Forest, an outdoor wonderland brimming with conifers of all types, depending on elevation.


At lower elevations near Bend and Sisters, you’ll mostly see lodgepole pines and ponderosa pines. Some people even harvest juniper trees as a quirky Christmas tree alternative!


Drive to higher elevations in the Cascades, and that’s where you’ll find the more coveted Douglas firs, white firs, incense cedars, and several types of spruces.


If you live over the hill near Mt. Hood or Willamette National Forests, the most common varieties are noble, balsam, Douglas, and Pacific silver firs.

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