Christmas Tree Permits

Any person who is 19 years or older and resides in British Columbia is allowed to cut their own Christmas tree free of charge from Crown Lands with the permission of a Forest Officer.

Print the following Permit, read it carefully and place your signature in the space titled 'PERMITTEE' thereby agreeing to abide by the terms in the permit. You must have your Permit with you when cutting your Christmas tree. Failure to have the Permit in your possession, the possession of more than 1 tree per permit, selling your tree, transporting your tree out of Province or harvesting in areas other than those outlined in Paragraph 2 of the Permit may result in the tree being seized and enforcement actions being taken.

Printable Christmas Tree Permit

Where to Cut Trees

You can only cut a tree from areas designated for this purpose. These include portions of the following areas:

(a) Crown Land within the Coast Mountains Resource District except those areas shown below and in paragraph 2 of the permit.

  • Private Lands

  • Treaty Lands

  • Forest Plantations and Research Areas

  • Parks, Ecological Reserves and Conservancies

  • Community Watersheds

  • Juvenile-spaced reforested areas

  • Woodlot Licenses and Community Forests

  • Any other areas alienated or reserved for a special use

(b) BC Hydro right-of-ways and logging road right-of-ways

Note: Power line rights-of-way are defined by the cleared area immediately under the power line itself.  Road rights-of-way are defined as 3 metres beyond the edge of the ditch or excavated portion of the road bank or fill slope. 


Tree Cutting Guidelines

  • Cut only one tree per family.
  • The tree is for personal use only - you cannot sell it.
  • The tree must be less than 5 metres in height.
  • Cut the tree as close to the ground as possible and leave no live branches on the stump.
  • Do not leave a pointed stump as this may cause injury to livestock, wildlife, pets or humans.
  • Do not cut a big tree only to use the top portion, besides being wasteful the portion left behind is a fire hazard.
  • Leave the area as clean as possible, do not leave the leftover stems and branches alongside roads or in the ditches.
  • Do not transport your tree out of the province.

Tree Species

Juvenile specimens of the following native tree species may be suitable for use as a Christmas tree in the Coast Mountains District.


Western Red Cedar
Leaves are arranged on the twigs in flat, fan like sprays and have a very strong but pleasant aroma. Typically grows along the coast at low to mid elevations where the climate is cool, mild and moist.
Cedar Boughs
A permit is not required to cut cedar boughs on Crown Land however the tree must be at least 3 metres in height and no more than half of the branches may be pruned. Boughs should be cut flush with the stem and the trunk should not be cut or scarred in the process.


Amabilis (Balsam) Fir
Needles have blunt ends and are usually notched at the tip. They are dark green with a groove on the upper surface and have two silvery bands on the lower surface. It is usually found in coastal areas above 300 metres in elevation. In the north it may grow at sea level. Tends to produce pitch when cut so make sure the floor around the tree is protected.


Subalpine Fir
Needles have blunt ends and are often notched at the tip. They are blue-green with a single white band at the top and two beneath. Needles all tend to turn upwards, but often a few stick out from the underside of the branch. It grows well at high elevations, from 600 to 2,250 metres throughout most of the interior. It also grows near sea level on the north coast.


Western Hemlock
Needles are nearly flat, glossy, and soft; yellow to dark green on the upper surface and whitish underneath. The needles are unequal in length and produce feathery, flat sprays. It grows along both the east and west sides of the Coast Range, from sea level to mid elevations.


Mountain Hemlock
Needles are uniform in size, glossy, and yellow-green to a deep bluish-green. They cover the branches densely on all sides and may be mostly upturned. It grows at mid elevations to timberline in the coastal mountains and at low elevations further north.


Lodgepole Pine
Needles occur in bunches of two and are often twisted in a spiral with sharp points; usually dark green. It grows throughout most of the interior, from mid elevation to subalpine sites. A variety called the shore pine grows along a narrow band along the coast and is commonly short, scrubby and crooked.


Sitka Spruce
Needles are light green to bluish-green, stiff and sharp. They are four sided but slightly flattened with two white bands running along the upper surface and two narrower bands along the lower surface. It grows along the coast in a narrow band from sea level to about 700 metres. It is most common along the coastal fog-belt and river and stream flood plains.


Engelmann Spruce
Needles are four sided and sharp but not particularly stiff. They are deep bluish-green with two white bands on both the upper and lower surfaces. The needles are arranged in all directions on the twigs. It occurs at high elevations throughout the interior and along the east slope of the Coast Range.

For more information on tree identification in British Columbia, visit our tree index website.


  1. Be prepared for winter conditions on the roads, many Forest Service Roads will have heavy industrial traffic, even on weekends. Read the Resource Road Safety Guide before using a logging road.
  2. Leave home prepared. Bring ropes, gloves, tools, tire chains, a first aid kit, a mobile phone and warm clothing.
  3. If planning to cut a tree from a BC Hydro right-of-way, please read and honour the following guidelines provided by BC Hydro:
    - Do not cut or remove any trees that may be within 7 metres of an electrical conductor. Take special care when travelling or cutting in the vicinity of electrical works such as towers, poles, transformers and guy wires.
    - Cut all trees off flat with the stump no higher than 10 cm. Clean up and remove all debris and slash associated with your activity.
    - Leave all access roads in good condition.
    You are fully responsible for yourself and anyone who is with you.

District Contact Information

Coast Mountains Resource District
#200-5220 Keith Avenue
Terrace B.C.
V8G 1L1
Phone: 250 638-5100
Fax: 250 638-5176