Unwrapping red tape on Christmas trees

Provincial Press Release November 26, 2020 @ 11:09am published at 2:45pm

Alberta’s government has removed the $5 fee for harvesting up to three Christmas trees from Crown land for personal use.

Eliminating the fee will save Albertans almost $100,000 and make it easier for individuals to get their own Christmas trees and firewood from Alberta’s 87 million acres of forested land.

“I hope Albertans take the time to go out with their families to find the perfect Christmas tree this year. Alberta has so much to offer and we’re blessed to live in the most free and open place in the world.” Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

Through the Personal Use Forest Products Permit, Albertans will receive a map of where they can go to access their trees. Permits can be obtained online. For a confirmation email that includes a digital version of the permit, Albertans must click "view" after completing all steps. If you have any questions, reach out to one of Alberta’s forest area offices.

“The Christmas tree is an important symbol of hope and joy this coming Christmas season. By cutting red tape and adopting a best practice, we’re giving a little light to Albertans whose tradition includes retrieving their own trees.” Grant Hunter, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction

A Personal Use Forest Products Permit is valid for 30 days. During that 30-day period, the permit holder may harvest up to:

  • three Christmas trees

  • five cubic metres of firewood

  • five cubic metres of roundwood, often used for fence posts and rails

  • 20 tree transplants

Five cubic metres represents about three level truckloads.


Getting a permit before harvesting Crown timber is still the law. Permits help preserve our forests for generations to come by keeping track of the number of trees being harvested, outlining rules to be followed and ensuring that public harvesting is done safely. The Personal Use Forest Products Permit is for small-scale personal use only. Any timber harvested with this permit is not for resale.

Harvesting without a permit or selling Crown timber are contraventions under Forests Act Section 10 and Timber Management Regulation Section 68. The penalty ranges from a minimum of $50 to several thousand dollars based on the amount of timber harvested. If the volume of timber is significant, the Crown is authorized by the Forests Act to seize all of the harvested volume and could pursue prosecution.

Quick facts

  • There were 8,116 provincial permits sold for Christmas trees in 2018 and 8,353 permits sold in 2019.

  • Another approximately 10,000 permits per year are sold for other approved uses such as firewood.

Tree cutting permits for personal use

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