By Eileen Majors
I don’t care whether I am in a tree lot, at a local nursery, or out in the middle of the vast woods, I am way too picky when it comes to finding the perfect tree. I would literally spend days on the project if they let me. Fortunately, my family knows me and they always push me into a choice I am not completely satisfied with. If this happens to you, try not to let them know. I’ve even been known to come home and fix my tree up secretly by drilling holes in the tree and whittling perfect size branches to shove into them. Looking back, I must say, it seems a bit ridiculous, since nobody noticed but me. This year I plan to accept my tree with loving appreciation, enjoy the scent of fresh pine in my home and most of all the people who gather around it (okay, so I will grab a few extra branches just in case). It is always good to save any branches you cut from the bottom of your tree. They make great wreaths, swags and add a mountain flair to other decorations. Be careful though! Candles and fresh greenery don’t mix!
The big day spent gathering the Christmas tree is a perfect opportunity for family fun. Make a batch of sandwiches and don’t forget the hot chocolate. A trip into the woods is always an adventure. It can also be dangerous and weather is unpredictable in the mountains. So watch weather forecasts before heading out, take and be sure you understand the map given to you with your permit, and don’t venture off on roads where you may get lost or stuck.
Enjoy the big day out and send us a photo of your family for next year’s holiday edition.
Tree Permits are available at a local forestry office or Ranger station. Find extended days and hours for tree permits at many Forest Service and Ranger stations. For locations, contact:
Butte Meadows: 530-873-0580
Tahoe – Truckee: (530) 583-3593
In Plumas County, these businesses are also listed as permit locations. Check with the following merchants:
Portola • Blairsden • Sierraville Area:
Eastern Plumas Chamber of Commerce – Blairsden
Williams House Museum – Portola
Quincy • Meadow Valley Area:
Blue Sky Chevron
Plumas County Visitors Center
Forest officials recommend cutting your tree early in the season before the higher elevations are snow bound. Trees can stay fresh for quite some time if cared for correctly. To help keep your tree fresh, cut two inches from the bottom of your tree when you get home and place it in water. Keep your tree watered and in a shady spot until you are ready for it in the house. Another helpful hint is to bring an old tarp to wrap your tree in. When you drag your tree out of the forest, the tarp protects the tree and helps you avoid breaking branches. The tarp can also help avoid wind damage on the way home.
Sources: Lassen National Forest, Plumas County Visitors Bureau