Chopping down your own Christmas tree this year? Not so fast...

A Balsam fir tree ready to brighten someone's living room this Christmas.
Image Credit:

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Just in time for the truly cold weather, and after many people have already started decorating for Christmas, the province is reminding B.C. residents that if you want to chop down your own Christmas tree this year you'd better have a permit.

While Facebook feeds everywhere show happy, chilly families posing by the trees they cut down themselves on Crown land, it is possible for conservation officers to issue fines to anyone felling a Christmas tree without a permit from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources.

The permits are available free of charge to anyone who is 19 or older through the ministry website and must be carried while harvesting the tree. They indicate the maximum number of trees that can be harvested, which in most areas is three per family.

Trees can only be taken from designated areas that includes Crown land rights-of-way, within three meters of logging roads and open range lands. Trees cannot be taken from private lands, plantations, parks, research areas, watersheds or juvenile-spaced trees.

The Ministry recommends you bring ropes, gloves, tools, tire chains, a first aid kit, cell phone and warm clothing with you when you take to the back country in search of that perfect tree. Be careful of logging trucks on forest service roads and choose a tree that is easy to harvest.

Tree farms are another option for those who want to cut down their own Christmas tree. For a list of tree farms around the Thompson-Okanagan, visit the B.C. Christmas Tree Council's website.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

ALBAS: Unpacking the Cannabis Act
  OPINION Editor, Last week the Liberal Government introduced the much anticipated Marijuana legalization bill, technically known as Bill C-45 “The Cannabis Act”. First let me state that the Liberals c
WALKER: Inventory low in Kelowna Real estate market
  OPINION The latest numbers from the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reveal that inventory (homes on the market) remains low when compared with 2016 and 2015. This is particularly evident when looking at pr

Top News