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

Christmas may still be weeks away, but it’s time to start making plans if you want to cut your own Christmas tree. El Pasoans not satisfied with procuring their Christmas tree from a parking lot vendor, and/or looking for a holiday-related outing can pick out and cut down their own up the road in New Mexico at the Lincoln National Forest.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

“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 search of the perfect holiday centerpiece.”

Besides the bonding experience and the memories made, your tree will last longer since it hasn’t been sitting on a truck and then a parking lot for who knows how long before you picked it out.

Getty Images

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. Here’s what to know about cutting your own Christmas in New Mexico at the Lincoln National Forest.

Permit Needed

Thinkstock

There are a few rules to DIY'ing your own Yuletide tree, and first and foremost is that you need a permit.

The Forest Service is selling permits online, over the phone, by mail, or in-person at a Lincoln National Forest office beginning November 15, 2021 until December 23, 2021. Cost is $10.00 plus a $2.50 processing fee.

The website also addresses best practices for selecting your tree, has a map showing areas of a forest where you can and cannot cut down a tree, and how to best plan your tree cutting expedition.

LOOK: See what Christmas was like the year you were born