Land Between the Lakes, Ky/Tenn. – Nov. 21, 2022 – Free cedar Christmas tree permits and information including maps and cutting guidelines will be available Nov. 25-Dec. 24 on the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area website: www.landbetweenthelakes.us/reservations. Permits can only be obtained online.
A permit entitles a family to cut one cedar tree between Nov. 25 and Dec. 24. Cedar trees may be cut anywhere in Land Between the Lakes except:
Within sight of U.S. Highway 68/Ky. Route 80
Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway
Nature Watch Areas
Timber sale areas
Facilities, including the Elk & Bison Prairie
Other mowed areas
“Taking the family out into the woods to look for the perfect Christmas tree is a great holiday tradition. Check along roadsides or within old forest openings to find your tree,” suggested Yvonne Antes, silviculturist at Land Between the Lakes. “The cedar tree program also helps Land Between the Lakes maintain open lands and promote diverse wildlife habitat.”
Trees must be cedar, less than 10 feet tall, and stumps must be less than 4 inches tall. Chainsaws may be used. Use of trucks, winches, tractors, or other heavy equipment is prohibited. Cutting rules and regulations can be found on the reservations page.
Whether families cut or purchase a tree, they should follow these safety guidelines for choosing and using a cut tree in their home this Christmas:
Choose a fresh tree. If needles fall off easily, the tree is dry and can easily catch on fire.
When setting up your tree, cut the base off two inches above the original cut to help the tree absorb more water.
Place the tree in a stable, tip-proof container and water it daily.
Place the tree away from heat sources such as heating vents, wood stoves, or open flames.
Be sure decorative lights are UL approved and in good condition. Never leave tree lights on while asleep or away from home. LED lights are a great way to save energy.
Discard the tree when it begins to show signs of drying, such as brown or yellow coloration, or excessive needle dropping.
While most of Land Between the Lakes was unaffected by tornado damage, there are significant areas of damaged timber. Care needs to be taken when recreating in and around these areas. Beware of loose overhead limbs as well as logging operations.