Bringing a freshly-cut tree home for the holidays is a big part of the spirited tradition of Christmas. These New Mexico farms and national forests will help you bring the natural fragrance of the forest into your home. From Gila National Forest to local, historic farms, here are the best places to get your Christmas tree in the state.
At 7,000 feet, this tree farm is located in a prime growing area for conifers like white fir and blue spruce. Since 1983, growers here have been providing beautiful trees for cutting to the community throughout the Mora Valley in a range of sizes from six to eight feet-tall. These trees make a holiday statement. Call to arrange a visit.
Not surprisingly, this forest is full of trees—white fir, ponderosa pine, and junipers top the list. You can cut a tree down up to 10 feet-tall, with a permit, anywhere on U.S. Forest Service lands, but not in wilderness or closed areas, or private or state lands. Digging up a tree is also allowed, but you must fill in the hole. Pick up a permit at any of the Forest Service offices in Alamogordo, Ruidoso, Cloudcroft or Carlsbad. You’ll be rockin’ around your tree all holiday season.
The Pueblo is located within the boundaries of the Santa Fe National Forest. When you purchase a permit, you’ll get a tree tag, map and guidelines for harvesting a tree. The non-refundable permits are available after Thanksgiving on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and cost $10. One tag is good for a tree approximately five feet in diameter and 10 feet-tall. Taller and wider trees require an additional tag. There’s a three tag per person limit. Tags can also be purchased at the Forest Headquarters or Ranger Stations in Coyote, Cuba, Espanola, Jemez, Pecose and Las Vegas weekdays.
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If there’s a fourth grader in the family, you’re eligible for a free Christmas tree permit thanks to the Every Kid in a Park initiative sponsored by the National Parks. If not, permits are $5 each and come with a tree tag, cutting regulation information sheet and a map of designated cutting sites. There’s a limit of one per house hold for any tree up to 10 feet high. But, take a walk on the wild side and pick out the aromatic Piñon pine…they’re free. Permits are available the week before Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve at local ranger district offices.
Yet another forest of trees just the right shape and size for that picture-perfect Christmas tree moment. Whether you cut or dig up a tree, the cost is $5 for trees under 10 feet tall, $10 for trees 10 to 15 feet-tall and $15 for those between 15 and 20-feet tall. Each Christmas tree lumberjack can buy three permits. A couple of regulations: no topping, all trees must be tagged immediately and any trimmings must be scattered. Stop by any of the ranger district offices after Nov. 20 to snag a tag.