Alaska Life Hack: Cut your own tree


Supply chain problems and sub-zero temperatures notwithstanding, Alaskans can cut their own Christmas trees on state land.

Households are limited to one tree, and no permit or fee is required. Maps and information on Christmas tree harvesting in Southcentral and Interior Alaska – as well as information about how to care for your fresh-cut tree – are available at

From the Division of Forestry, here are some guidelines for safe, legal cutting of Christmas trees on state public lands:

  • Properly identify who owns the land where you intend to cut your tree. If you have any questions on land ownership, call the nearest Division of Forestry office.
  • Cutting trees in state parks, experimental forests and commercial timber sales is prohibited.
  • Maximum tree height is 15 feet.
  • Christmas trees cut on state land are for personal use only and may not be sold.
  • The division does not maintain forest roads and anyone traveling on them should be properly equipped to do so. Have warm clothing and appropriate equipment incase you get stuck, including tire chains, shovel and tow strap.
  • Cut trees as low and close to the ground as possible.
  • Do not litter, and be courteous to other tree cutters and residents. For a directory of area forestry offices around the state, including addresses and phone numbers, go to Answers to additional questions are available at the Department of Natural Resource’s Public Information Centers in Anchorage (907- 269-8400) or Fairbanks (907-451-2705).


  1. I got an artificial tree I don’t want. We out grown our Christmas tree, and it and its decorations need a new home. We going to begin a new Christmas tradition this christmas that doesn’t include trees, tinsel, bulbs, ribbons, Santa, porthole, elvis, toys, and christmasy songs such as Baby, It’s Cold Outside type of songs.
    Starting a better family tradition one I longed to know and grow up around however I had no disciples to disciple my childhood home.

  2. And please use the maps and make sure you are on state land. We live on a road that accesses state land in the valley. Last year someone came onto our property, which is obviously not state land and with a home that is very visible, cut two trees, didn’t like either of them after they cut them so just left them. Could see the tire tracks where they pulled over and the footprints.

  3. Grow trees on your own property to cut and stay off peoples’ personal property. Plant a tree and buy an artificial from the thrift store and you will have a tree year after year.

  4. While I know the answer, it galls me to have to ask, “Why is the government telling me how, when, and where, to cut a Christmas Tree?”! Be nice folks, Santa is making a list…

    • Unless you can change the tilt and orbit of the Earth, you can’t grow a symmetrical tree at Alaska’s latitudes. You can’t grow an evergreen that isn’t “pathetic and scraggly” in most of Alaska. In Southeast I could get pretty decent looking natural trees, but by December even in northern Southeast they had been frozen, so it was difficult if not impossible to water them once brought inside, so they dried out and lost needles very quickly. Didn’t take us long to decide on a nice artificial tree and be done with it.

      • When we lived in Manakotac, we would go out every year and find a pretty nice looking spruce to serve as our Christmas tree. The climate in southwest Alaska might be a little more forgiving. When we were on St Lawrence Island, the tallest thing out there was about a 12 in tall weed.

  5. Here is a life hack that will save you money.

    Stop celebrating Hallmark holidays.

    You don’t need a special day to celebrate what life has to give, and you certainly don’t need to spend money on it.

    • Common Peasant, bah humbug to you and your ilk! Kill joys all of you! The genius of Freedom is to be free to enjoy yourself. Got that? Love you and please, have a very Merry Christmas!

      • I did not say to not celebrate. Every morning I wake up is a cause for celebration.
        I am saying that we don’t need to be corralled into socially approved holidays of which we spend copious amounts of money on. Instead, share the good cheer with yourself and others on a daily basis. Tis the season, every day.

  6. Wow, I never would’ve guessed how sensitive and touchy the topic of a Christmas tree could be!
    Thanks for the info, Suzanne. We cut one down a few years on state land -it was so skinny the serrated blade on a Leatherman took it down! The kids have been asking to do that again ever since. This year, we will.

  7. Bells Nursery has hundreds and hundreds of fresh trees inside both of their locations. No supply chain issues there !

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