O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree how lovely are thy branches.

El Pasoans not satisfied with procuring their Christmas tree from a parking lot vendor and looking for a holiday-related outing, or wishing to start a new family tradition can pick out and cut down their own up the road in New Mexico at the Lincoln National Forest.

“For many families, venturing into a National Forest to cut their Christmas tree is a tradition carried on for generations,” Forest Supervisor Travis Moseley said in a statement. “For families creating new traditions, a trip to their local forest to cut their own Christmas tree may be a thrilling experience as they discover the joy of hiking through the forest in search of the perfect holiday centerpiece.”

Now, you can’t just drive over the river and through the woods and start chopping away at the first pine tree that catches your eye. There are a few rules to cutting down your own Christmas tree, and first and foremost is that you need a permit.

This year, for the first time ever the Forest Service is selling Christmas tree permits online. The move was made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a way of providing a no-contact alternative for those who wish to limit their proximity to others. Christmas tree permits can also be acquired over the phone, by mail, or in-person at a Lincoln National Forest office.

What to Know Before You Go

Permits sold through Dec. 24, 2020
$10 (plus service charge is purchased online)

Online: CLICK HERE to buy
Phone: Call to purchase over the phone with a credit card. Your permit will then be mailed to you.
Mail: Mail check or money order (no cash) to one of the offices and your permit will be sent through the mail.
In-Person: Visit one of our four offices during regular business hours to purchase your permit.

Lincoln National Forest office locations/addresses/phone numbers

• Supervisor's Office: 3463 Las Palomas Rd. Alamogordo, NM, 88310 (575) 434-7200
• Smokey Bear District: 901 Mechem Dr. Ruidoso, NM, 88345 (575) 257-4095
• Sacramento District: 4 Lost Lodge Rd Cloudcroft, NM, 88317 (575) 682-2551
• Guadalupe District: 5203 Buena Vista Dr. Carlsbad, NM, 88220 (575) 885-4181

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