If you haven't gotten a Christmas tree yet, we have a way for you to get one for just $5.  And if you have a child in 4th or 5th grade, you can completely wave that cost and get one for free.

Every holiday season, national parks from around the country let the public harvest Christmas Trees for personal use.  The closest national park for West Michiganders are the Huron-Manistee National Forests and they are allowing members of the public to purchase a $5 Christmas Tree Permit from now until the last day their offices are open before Christmas.

Each household is allowed to purchase up to 3 Christmas Tree Tags and can do so at one of the five Huron-Manistee National Forests offices, or online at recreation.gov.  And if you have a 4th or 5th grader in the house, you can completely wave that free and go get your tree for free.

To get your free tree, you will need to head over to the National Park Service website and get your Every Kid Outdoors pass that is normally just good for 4th graders but because of COVID-19 they are extending the free offer to 5th graders as well.  After you get that voucher, you can trade it in for a Christmas Tree Permit at any of the Huron-Manistee National Forests Offices or online at Recreation.gov.

The park will not provide any gear for getting your tree, so you'll need to bring your own stuff.  Here is what we recommend you bring.

  • Work gloves
  • Saw or axe or both
  • A sled or wagon to help pull your tree back to your car
  • Rope or a bungee to secure the tree to your car
  • Warm clothes and boots
  • Tape measurer to make sure your tree is the right size

When you are out, be sure to have your phone with you in case you get lost.  And don't expect to find a tree right away, it can sometimes take hours to find the perfect Christmas Tree.