O, Tannenbaum! Leadville’s Got Trees
If you’re concerned about the nation-wide shortage of Christmas trees that’s been widely reported, just talk to a Lion. A Leadville Lions Club member that is, as they will joyfully sell you one of the holiday trees they harvested to raise funds for local programs.
Every November, the Lions Club heads to the Climax Mine to harvest the trees from their property, a tradition dating back decades. Once the trucks and trailers are loaded with the perfect Tannenbaum selections, the club sets up their Christmas tree lot in the parking area at Centennial Real Estate at Poplar and E.11th Streets.
The trees range in price, starting at $15 and can be purchased 24 hours a day, seven days a week until they are gone. If the real estate office is not open, simply slip your check in the mail slot, as instructed. The sale of these Christmas trees supports the many programs put on by the local Lions club, including the Fourth of July Fireworks, the High School Career Fair, the flag program for Harrison Avenue and many more. If it gets done in Leadville, then the Lions Club is usually behind it! ROAR!
Know Your ABCs, Get a FREE Christmas Tree!
Of all the great things there are about knowing a 4th grader, you can add one more to the list: A Christmas Tree. That’s right, fourth graders that come into the Leadville Ranger District U. S. Forest Service Office can receive one free Christmas tree permit, as part of the “Every Kid in a Park” Initiative.
According to newly-appointed, Acting Leadville Ranger Max Forgensi, “This program encourages Lake County families to explore their Pike and San Isabel National Forests by getting outside and making memories. There is nothing quite as good as bringing home a natural Christmas tree.”
Vouchers and additional details can be printed from the website. A mail-order form is not an option for this program and the program is not applicable to community vendor locations. Only one free permit is allowed per fourth grader.
Christmas Tree Permits For The Rest of You!
Of course, if you’re not a fourth grader, you can still get a permit for a tree. You just have to pay for it! Here is the official information:
- Permits: Christmas tree permits went on sale at the Leadville Ranger District on November 19. Permits can be purchased thru December 24, 2018. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Permits cost $10.00 per tree with a limit of 2 trees per family. A tree removal tag will be issued for each tree and this tag must be securely fastened to all trees before removing or transporting from permitted areas. Permits sold at either office will be valid for both Salida and Leadville Ranger districts.
- Christmas Tree Permits can be purchased with credit card, cash, personal check, or money order made payable to the U.S. Forest Service at the Leadville Ranger District, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- To receive Christmas Tree permits by mail, send a check or money order along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: U.S. Forest Service Attn: Christmas Tree Permit, 810 Front Street, Leadville CO 80461.
- Christmas Trees may be cut District-wide with a few exceptions. Developed recreation sites and Wilderness areas are closed to cutting. Christmas Tree permits will be issued for each tree that is harvested and should be securely fastened to the tree before transporting them from the area. Handsaws and axes are the only tools allowed – chainsaws are prohibited.
- Cutting Dates: November 19 – December 24.
- Areas: Christmas tree cutting is allowed throughout the Leadville Ranger District with the exceptions of campgrounds, trailheads, ski areas, and wilderness areas. In the past, foresters have recommended the cutting areas in Lake County around Turquoise Lake Road (Lake County Road 9) and along Lake County Road 48 just to the southwest of Sugar Loafin’ Campground. However, recent logging operations associated with the Tennessee Creek Project have reduced the tree inventory, as well as limited vehicle access to the area. No cutting or trespassing is permitted on private land, and tag holders are responsible for knowing public and private land boundaries. Maps are available at the district offices. Hint: In Leadville, “below the dam” is a popular harvest spot, below Turquoise Lake.
- Trees: Species that may be cut include Douglas fir, Lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, and white fir. Please see the Holiday tree identification sheets.
- Vehicles: Four-wheel drive vehicles or tire chains may be needed in some areas due to icy and snowy conditions. Skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles may be used if snow conditions allow. Please remember to stay on designated roads and use caution when driving on winter roads.
- Restrictions: Only trees with a diameter of up to 7 inches, at the base, may be cut. Permitted cutting lengths are from 3 feet to 15 feet. Chainsaws are prohibited. A good handsaw or an ax is adequate. Trees must be cut at least 50 feet from roadways, waterways, or trails. Please do not top trees – do not leave high stumps! Trees should be cut at the ground and unused portions should be scattered. Persons removing trees from National Forest lands without a valid permit may be subject to a fine of up to $500.00 and/or 6 months incarceration.
Please call the Leadville District Office at 719-486-0749 or, visit the website for additional information.