Christmas Tree Permit - Sunshine Coast Forest District

Who May Apply for a Free Christmas Tree?

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


Where Can I Apply?

Apply at your local Forest District office or online. The Forest Officer may issue a letter of authorization and will provide you with information, if necessary, where you can cut a tree. Carry your Free Use Permit for a Christmas tree with you, as you may be asked to produce it.

In the Sunshine Coast Forest District, this letter of authority is provided on the internet for you including the permission of a Forest Officer. Please print this form, read the form carefully, place your signature in the space titled 'PERMITTEE' thereby agreeing to abide by the terms in this permit, then carry your Letter of Authority with you when cutting your Christmas tree. You must be able to produce your authorization upon the request of a Forest Officer, a Forest Official, a Peace Officer or a Conservation Officer. The penalties for not adhering to the Letter of Authority conditions could include a fine or seizure of the tree.

Authority to cut Christmas Trees for Personal use in the Sunshine Coast Forest District: Print & sign Christmas Tree permit

Christmas Tree Cutting Locations:


Where do I Cut a Tree?

You can only cut a tree from areas designated for this purpose. Refer to above cutting Locations. These areas are, the Crown Land portions of the following:

  • Hydro right-of-way (Crown-land portions only) except areas where Christmas trees are being grown commercially.
  • Logging roads (within three metres - 10 feet -- of the edge of the road).

Cut your tree from dry, rocky sites or south slopes within the permitted areas. They produce better Christmas trees.


Are There Areas Where I Must Not Cut Christmas Trees?

Yes. You cannot cut a Christmas tree from:

  • Private lands
  • Plantations
  • Research areas
  • Parks
  • Adjacent to rivers, streams, lakes or swamps
  • Juvenile-spaced areas
  • Any other areas reserved for a special use

How Many Trees Can I Cut?

You are allowed to cut only one tree per family. Cutting Christmas trees free of charge is strictly for personal use. You are not allowed to sell them. Failure to comply is an unauthorized harvest on Crown land under Forest Practices Code of BC Act. Unauthorized cutting may be further subject to prosecution under the Criminal Code of Canada.


What Species of Tree Should I Cut?

Tree Qualities:   Balsam;   Aromatic, uniform, rich dark green colour. Tends to produce pitch, the area under the tree should be covered.
    Spruce;   Rich green colour, uniform taper. Needles are pointed, good choice if you want to stop a cat that likes to climb.
    Lodgepole pine;   Interesting choice, can be uniform shape if grown in the open. Can usually hang decorations near the main stem and still see them.
    Douglas fir;   Traditional choice. Dry sites produce the best Christmas trees.

What Should I do Before Cutting a Tree?

  • Make sure that you have chosen the best tree and the size you want.
  • Try to leave the bottom one or two branches on the stump of the tree, which may grown into another Christmas tree for future cutting.
  • Do not cut a big tree only to use the top portion.  This may be a waste of a future tree and the portion left on the area may create a fire hazard.

What Should I do After Cutting a Tree?

  • Leave the area as clean as possible.
  • Do not leave lower boles and branches of cut trees alongside roads or in ditches.
  • Cut them close to the ground and scatter.
  • Do not transport your tree outside the Province.


  1. Be prepared for winter conditions on roads. Many Forest Service Roads will have heavy industrial traffic (logging trucks), even on weekends.
  2. If planning to cut trees from BC Hydro easements, please read and honour the following guidelines provided by BC Hydro for your safety and environmental protection:
  • Do not cut or remove any trees that may be within 7 metres (20 feet) 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. You are responsible for all damages.
  • Cut all trees off flat with the stump no higher than 4 inches (10 centimeters). 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.



Sunshine Coast Forest District
7077 Duncan Street
Powell River, BC  V8A 1W1
Telephone:  (604) 485-0700
Facsimile:   (604) 485-0799

Thank you for your co-operation.

The staff and management at Sunshine Coast Forest District wish you and your family a safe and joyous holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.