BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — It may only be mid-October, but the drawing for a permit to cut your own Christmas tree at Reynolds Ranch Open Space is now open.
Boulder County Parks & Open Space staff will conduct a random drawing of 100 entries for the permits, which allow residents to cut their own lodgepole pine trees at Reynolds Ranch Open Space, located at 11212 Magnolia Road in Nederland. The permits are available for Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4.
The entry submissions are open until Nov. 13 at midnight. All entrants will be notified the following day if they won a permit. They will then have until midnight on Nov. 27 to purchase the $20 permit. If an individual does not respond or purchase one, that spot will be given to a person on the waitlist.
The permits are only applicable on Dec. 3 and 4. Permit winners will be assigned a date and time. They must bring all their own materials, like a handsaw. Chainsaws are not allowed.
This process of welcoming residents to cut their own Christmas trees in a specific space of the park will help thin the pine trees.
While some locations have announced their schedules for securing a permit to cut a Christmas tree, some have outlined what to expect for the season. But if you want a peek at what to expect, you can read Denver7's 2021 story here. Details are typically announced in early to mid-November.
Last year, the following locations — some of which have 2022 information already available — sold permits:
- Golden Gate Canyon State Park
- Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests (permits will go on sale Nov. 10-Jan. 7)
- Pike National Forest (permits went on sale on Oct. 12 for some districts; others will go on sale in November)
- White River National Forest
- Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests (permits went on sale Oct. 13; available until Dec. 31)
- San Juan National Forest (permits go on sale Nov. 10)
No matter where you end up cutting down your tree, remember to bring a few essentials:
- A printout of your permit to keep in your car
- A full tank of gas in your vehicle
- A handsaw
- A tape measure if you are planning on transporting the tree inside your car and need to measure it out on the trail
- Items required to bring the tree home (tarp, twine, blankets, bungee cords, etc.)
- A plastic sled or similar equipment, if you plan to drag the tree back to your vehicle (dragging it through the snow may rub off its bark and needles)
- Lots of layers, especially if you're expecting wintry weather
- Snacks and extra water
Once you're home, cut the bottom of the trunk off and place the tree in a stand with water.