Tonto National Forest Christmas Tree Permits

Christmas tree permits for the Tonto National Forest go on sale beginning at 8 am on Nov. 13th. Here’s what you need to know:

“Each Christmas tree permit is $15 and can be purchased at the following locations during hours indicated:

Supervisor’s Office:
2324 E. McDowell Rd.
Phoenix, AZ
(602) 225-5200
Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm, closed for lunch from 1 to 1:30 pm

Mesa Ranger District:
5140 E. Ingram St.
Mesa, AZ
(480) 610-3300
Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm, closed for lunch from noon to 12:30 pm

Payson Ranger District:
1009 E. Highway 260
Payson, AZ
(928) 474-7900
Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4 pm, closed for lunch from 12:30 to 1:30 pm Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm on November 17 thru December 22

Cave Creek Ranger District
40202 N Cave Creek Rd
Scottsdale, AZ
(480) 595-3300
Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm

A permit allows the holder to cut a tree within any designated cutting site on the Tonto National Forest – regardless of whether the permit was purchased at the Supervisor’s Office or one of the three ranger districts — beginning November 17. Permits will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis until they are gone. Permits must be purchased in person; payment options include cash, check, or credit card. Customers will receive a map that shows the designated cutting areas. Maps will include additional Christmas tree cutting instructions.

Fourth-grade students are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit, while supplies last, through the Every Kid in a Park initiative. Every Kid in a Park is a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of conservationists. All fourth graders are eligible to receive a fourth grade pass that allows free access to federal lands and waters across the country for a full year. In support of this initiative, the Forest Service is making available a free Christmas tree permit to every interested fourth grader with a fourth grade pass or paper voucher. More information about the initiative and how to obtain a pass is available by visiting To be eligible for a free Christmas tree permit from your local national forest office, all fourth graders must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and present their fourth grade pass or paper voucher.

Rules for Christmas tree permits

Each Christmas tree permit allows permit holders to cut a tree up to 10 feet tall
One tree per household. One person may purchase up to four permits for other families not living in the household
Permits are for personal use only
No refunds on Christmas tree permits
Cutting dates are November 17 through December 24

Tree cutters are reminded to be prepared for sudden weather changes and colder conditions when in high elevations. A fun family outing can become miserable and even dangerous with a quick change of weather for the unprepared.

Forest officials recommend cutting your tree early in the season before the higher elevations are snow bound. To help keep your tree fresh, cut two inches from the bottom of your tree when you get home and place it in water. Keep your tree watered and in a shady spot until you are ready to move it into the house.

Another helpful hint is to bring an old tarp to wrap your tree in. Then when you drag your tree out of the forest, the tarp protects the tree and helps you avoid breaking branches. The tarp can also help avoid wind damage on the way home.”