Cutting down your own Christmas tree

Christmas is right around the corner. Have you decided where you’ll be getting your tree this year? Why not go cut it down yourself? That’s exactly what NewsCenter1’s Samantha Chadwell did in this latest edition of “Into the Hills.”

HILL CITY, S.D. – If you want to cut down your own Christmas tree this year, there are a few things you need to do.

First, head on out to the U.S. Forest Service Mystic District Ranger station to buy a permit to cut down your spruce. It only costs $10 and along with that, you’ll get some maps, a brochure, and a keepsake sticker. The U.S. Forest Service sells about 10,000 tree cutting permits every year.

Then, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need for hauling in the tree. Don’t forget something to cut it down, like a saw or even a chainsaw. You’ll also want to bring something to strap down the tree in case it doesn’t fit in the back on your car.

Now you’re ready to head out and pick out your tree. Scott Jacobson with the U.S. Forest Service took Samantha out to the Black Hills National Forest down in Hill City. Jacobson says to find a spruce, be sure to look on north-facing slopes.

While there are also Ponderosa Pines that grow in the Black Hills, he says only the spruces grow on the north side of the slopes. The permits that you have to purchase only allow for the maximum height of your cut tree to be 20 feet tall. But for most, that’s a lot bigger than what they can actually fit in their living rooms.

Once you find the perfect tree, you can use your permit to measure a trunk that’s six inches long. Jacobson says that’s a good size trunk that you want to look for.

Once you’re home, you can cut it however short you need it to be. Before you get your tree into or onto your car, be sure to secure your permit somewhere on it.

Now your tree is ready to make the journey home to be decorated, just in time for Christmas.


Categories: Into The Hills, Local News, South Dakota News