Permits required for residents cutting down own Christmas tree

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Area residents interested in cutting their own Christmas trees this holiday season are reminded they will again require a permit, which can be obtained online or by contacting their local district Front-Counter BC office.

Free use permits are provided for personal use only and it’s illegal to sell a tree cut under a Christmas tree permit, or cut one in an unauthorized area.

The local district offices will provide all details about specific cutting requirements and approved harvest areas, and the Christmas tree website of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations provides district office contact information, and the BC Christmas Tree Council’s website containing the list of tree farms and ‘U-Cuts’ throughout the province.

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Those who plan on legally cutting a tree are asked to find the one they intend to use before cutting to avoid wasting forest resources, and to find one that can be cut near the base and is easy to transport.

They’re also asked to gather and remove all debris associated with cutting as wasted tree remains left in the forest add to the summer fire hazard threat.

Meantime, Fort St. John area residents should be aware that some apartment management or ownership groups may not allow real Christmas trees in their facilities due to fire and safety concerns.

However, after checking with both city and fire department officials, Moose FM news has confirmed that contrary to some reports suggesting otherwise, real Christmas trees are not subject to any official city wide, bylaw or regulatory bans.

However, those who purchase a real tree are advised to select one that’s not losing green needles, which can be easily detected by vigorously shaking it.

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