It's hard to believe it is nearly that festive time of year - and many families will choose to cut down their own trees.

Permits, however, are required to cut down trees.

The Forest Service will make Christmas tree permits available beginning Nov. 2 for the South Platte Holiday Tree program in Jefferson County.

Tree cutting locations are Buffalo Creek and Camp Fickes.

Tree cutting details for these areas are:

  • Cutting areas are at the Buffalo Creek and Camp Fickes sites.
  • The deadline for mail-in requests has been extended to Nov. 3. Envelopes must be postmarked by that date.
  • South Platte Office walk-in requests begin Nov. 7 and will continue until about 8,000 permits are sold.
  • Camp Fickes permits are very limited.
  • There is no camping, no trailers and no picnics within the cutting area of Camp Fickes and only vehicles equipped with 4-wheel drive capability are allowed.
  • Cutting will take place off of Forest Service Road 550. Maps will be handed out with permits.
  • Cutting is Nov. 25 through Dec. 8.

Permit-holders can expect traffic and issues with parking and passing. The road has steep switchbacks and wash boarding should be expected.

Employees anticipate 1,500 families will cut their trees in Jefferson County on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, and during each of the open weekends. They suggest cutting trees on weekdays to avoid bigger crowds.

For more information on the South Platte Buffalo Creek and Camp Fickes Holiday Tree Program, visit: or call 303-275-5610.

Christmas tree permits will be available for purchase at Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest offices beginning Nov. 14 through Dec. 31.

The cost per permit is $8 and can be purchased with cash, check or credit at National Forest offices. There is a maximum of five tree permits per person.

Tree cutting is allowed in most areas of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, except: wilderness areas, scenic pullouts, commercial timber sales areas, recreation and ski areas, campgrounds, trailheads, developed sited and administrative areas and otherwise as detailed n the permits.

Trees cannot be cut within 100 feet of any road or trail.

Maps will be provided with permits.

Trees must be less than 20 feet tall from the stump, may not be greater that six inches in diameter at the base and the stump height should be no greater than six inches high.

Cutting off only the top of the tree is not allowed.

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are offering a 4th Grade Free Christmas Tree Program. Fourth graders are eligible for a free tree permit through the Every Kid in a Park initiative. Find information here:

Find more information for tree permits in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, including locations to buy permits here: