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LBL Offers Free Cedar Christmas Trees

December 4, 2019 | Staff Report

Free cedar Christmas tree permits will be available online November 29-December 24, from Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. Permits, maps, and cutting guidelines may be obtained online at

Members of the public may also obtain a permit in person at the Administrative Office, 8am-3pm, Monday-Friday, November 29 through December 24.

A permit entitles a family to cut one cedar tree between November 29 and December 24. Cedar trees may be cut anywhere in Land Between the Lakes except:

• Within sight of US68/KY80
• Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway
• Cemeteries
• Nature Watch Areas
• Campgrounds
• Other mowed areas

"Taking your family out into the woods to look for the perfect Christmas tree is a great holiday tradition. Check along roadsides or within old forest openings to find your tree,” suggested Yvonne Antes, silviculturist at Land Between the Lakes.. “The cedar tree program also helps Land Between the Lakes maintain open lands and promote diverse wildlife habitat.”

Trees must be cedar, less than 10 feet tall, and stumps must be less than 4 inches tall. Chain saws may be used. Use of trucks, winches, tractors, or other heavy equipment is prohibited. Cutting rules and regulations can be found on the reservations page. You may call 270-924-2065 for more information.

Whether families cut or purchase a tree, they should follow these safety guidelines for choosing and using a cut tree in their home this Christmas:

• Choose a fresh tree. If needles fall off easily, the tree is dry and can easily catch on fire.
• When setting up your tree, cut the base off two inches above the original cut to help the tree absorb more water.
• Place the tree in a stable, tip-proof container and water it daily.
• Place the tree away from heat sources such as heating vents, wood stoves, or open flames.
• Be sure decorative lights are UL approved and in good condition. Never leave tree lights on while asleep or away from home. LED lights are a great way to save energy.
• Discard the tree when it begins to show signs of drying, such as brown or yellow coloration, or excessive needle dropping.

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