There’s still time to head into the hills and get your family a wild-caught, organic, free-range Christmas tree.
Olympic National Forest sells $5 permits that allow you cut down the perfect tree among the millions. Therein lies the biggest challenge in getting your tree this way – too many choices. My advice: get a tree map at a ONF ranger station, pick a logging road, drive a few miles, park and dive in.
I cut down a nice one in ONF near Quilcene last weekend after I finally stopped at random and charged up a hill. That’s my 11-foot Doug fir in the photo (right of center) above.
A few more tips:
- The only special equipment you’ll need are a small saw and rope for tying the tree down to your roof. Dress warmly and maybe pack a thermos of hot chocolate.
- Be ready for the conditions. It could be snowing in the higher elevations, and don’t forget that it gets dark before 5 p.m. these days.
Really, it’s all quite simple, and I’m surprised more people don’t do this. I’m writing a larger story on this topic for the weekend, but with Christmas only nine days away, I wanted to give a little more of a heads up.
You can get permits at the following locations:
- Hood Canal Ranger District Office in Quilcene, (360) 765-2200
- Hoodsport Visitor Information Center, (360) 877-2021
- Forks Visitor Information Center, (360) 374-6522
- Pacific Ranger District Office in Quinault, (360) 288-2525