The Ocala National Forest is offering permits to visitors who would like to cut down their own Christmas trees.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture allows for individuals to cut down sand pine trees within two designated areas of the Ocala National Forest. Once a permit is acquired, a map will be provided to show the available sites to cut down a Christmas tree.
Permits are available online and cost $10 per tree, with a limit of up to five trees per individual. The permits will remain effective through Saturday, December 24.
In addition to providing inexpensive Christmas trees, the permit program also helps to open the area for wildlife and provides more room for the remaining trees to grow.
When selecting a tree to cut, the maximum height allowed is 40 feet. The entire tree must be cut down, and the maximum height allowed for the remaining stump is six inches.
The forest rangers want to remind everyone to stick to the map when locating a tree to cut. Do not cut on private land, in wilderness areas, designated campgrounds, or existing tree plantations, and avoid areas that have been planted with new trees.
For more information, or to purchase a permit, visit the Ocala National Forest Christmas Tree Permit webpage.