ABQ Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree

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With all this time indoors, what a perfect time to find, cut down, and put up your own REAL Christmas tree. Who knows? It may even become a tradition for years to come. So grab the hot cocoa, chainsaw, and jackets for the whole family, and head out to find your perfect tree.

Guide to Tree Cutting

All locations require a permit and a small fee in order to cut down your own tree. They also have limitations and certain specifications regarding the size of your tree. Click on each place for more info.

Carson National Forest

Taos, NM
  • The tree may be cut or dug up and removed as a transplant. The ground starts freezing as early as November. Please fill in the hole created when digging up a live tree.
  • Do not cut or transplant Bristlecone Pine
  • Stump height: 6 inches maximum
  • Each permit is $5 (for any species) up to 10 feet, $10 for over 10 feet – up to 15 feet, and $15 for over 15 feet – up to 20 feet
  • Take the whole tree. Do not remove the top of the tree. Cut down the entire tree.

Cibola National Forest

Albuquerque, NM
  • The tree cutting season begins on November 14 and runs through December 31.
  • Each permit is good for one tree. Two trees per household may be purchased.
  • Tree Height: 10 feet maximum. Trees taller than 10 feet will cost an additional $1.00 per foot.

Gila National Forest

Silver City, NM
  • Tree Height: 10 feet maximum
  • Take the whole tree. Do not remove the top of the tree. Cut down the entire tree.
  • If snow is on the ground, remove it from around the stump so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height.

Jemez Mountains

Jemez, NM

See Santa Fe National Forest for rules.


Lincoln National Forest

Alamogordo, NM
  • Tree Height: 10 feet maximum
  • Take the whole tree. Do not remove the top of the tree. Cut down the entire tree.
  • If snow is on the ground, remove it from around the stump so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height.

Santa Fe National Forest

Santa Fe, NM
  • Tree Height: 10 or 15 feet maximum, depending on permit
  • Stump diameter: 5 inches maximum
  • Take the whole tree. Do not remove the top of the tree. Cut down the entire tree.
  • If snow is on the ground, remove it from around the stump so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height.