Tonto National Forest Christmas Tree Permits begin Oct 30th

Xmas Tree Harvest
Xmas Tree Harvest

The Tonto National Forest will begin selling Christmas tree permits at 8:00 a.m., on Monday, October 30, 2017.  Permits will be available at Cave Creek, Mesa, Payson, and Pleasant Valley ranger districts and at the Supervisors Office at the hours and locations listed below.

Permits will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis until they are gone.  Permits can be purchased in person with cash, check, or credit card.  Customers will be provided a map that shows the designated cutting areas along with additional Christmas tree cutting instructions.  The permit will allow the holder to cut a tree within a designated area between the dates of
November 18 through December 24, 2017.

Fourth grade students are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit, while supplies last, through the Every Kid in a Park initiative.  Every Kid in a Park is a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of conservationists.  All fourth graders are eligible to receive a fourth grade pass that allows free access to federal lands and waters across the country for a full year.  In support of this initiative, the Forest Service is making available a free Christmas tree permit to every interested fourth grader with a fourth grade pass or paper voucher.  More information about the initiative and how to obtain a pass is available by visiting  To be eligible for a free Christmas tree permit from your local national forest office, all fourth graders must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and present their fourth grade pass or paper voucher.

Rules for Christmas tree permits

  • Each Christmas tree permit is $15 and allows permit holders to cut  a tree up to 10 feet tall;
  • One tree per household.  One person may purchase up to four permits for other families, not living in the household;
  • Permits are for personal use only;
  • Trees must be cut within designated cutting areas;
  • Trees may be cut November 18 to December 24; and
  • No refunds on Christmas tree permits.

Tree cutters are reminded to be prepared for sudden weather changes and colder conditions when in high elevations.  A fun family outing can become miserable and even dangerous with a quick change of weather for the unprepared.  The permits expire on December 25, however, Forest officials recommend cutting your tree early in the season before the higher elevations are snow bound.  Trees can stay fresh for quite some time if cared for properly.

To help keep your tree fresh, cut two inches from the bottom of your tree when you get home and place it in water.  Keep your tree watered and in a shady spot until you are ready to move it into the house.  Another helpful hint is to bring an old tarp to wrap your tree in.  Then when you drag your tree out of the forest, the tarp protects the tree and helps you avoid breaking branches.  The tarp can also help avoid wind damage on the way home.

For more information on Christmas tree permits on the Tonto National Forest, please call any of the offices listed below.

Office locations and hours

Supervisor’s Office:

Monday –Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, closed for lunch 1:00 – 1:30
2324 E. McDowell Rd.
Phoenix, AZ
(602) 225-5200

Cave Creek Ranger District

Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
40202 N. Cave Creek Rd
Scottsdale, AZ  85262 

Mesa Ranger District:

Monday –Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, closed for lunch 12:00 – 12:30
5140 E. Ingram St.
Mesa, AZ
(480) 610-3300

Payson Ranger District:

Monday –Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, closed for lunch 12:30 – 1:30
1009 E. Highway 260
ayson, AZ
Saturday, 10:00am – 2pm on November 18 – December 23
(928) 474-7900

Pleasant Valley Ranger District

Thursday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, closed for lunch 12:30 – 1:30
154 S. Ranger Station Rd.
Young, AZ
(928) 462-4300