RUTLAND - U.S. Forest Service officials in Vermont are encouraging the public to purchase Christmas tree permits should they be interested in a $5 tree for the holidays. In recent years the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF) program has continued to grow in popularity with 431 permits sold last calendar year. Christmas trees may be cut on the Green Mountain National Forest, subject to the following conditions: A "Christmas Tree Removal" permit must be purchased ($5) at one of the Forest Service offices located in Rutland, Middlebury, Manchester Center, or Rochester, Vermont.

The permit must be attached to the tree before transporting it from the site where it was cut.

The permit holder is responsible for knowing that the tree comes from Forest Service land. Maps are available when a permit is purchased.

Trees over 20 feet tall are not designated for cutting by the Christmas tree permit.

The height of the tree stump left after a tree has been cut should be six inches or less above the soil.

Christmas trees shall not be cut in active timber sales, wilderness areas, campgrounds, picnic areas, or within 25 feet of any Forest Service, town, or state maintained road.

Only one Christmas tree permit will be issued per household per year.

Permits are not refundable.

Trees obtained under the Christmas tree permit may not be resold.

The following is a list of U.S.


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Forest Service offices: Forest Supervisor's Office - 231 North Main Street, Rutland, 802-747-6700; Manchester Ranger Station - 2538 Depot Street, Manchester Center, 802-362-2307; Middlebury Ranger Station - 1007 Route 7 South, Middlebury, 802-388-4362; Rochester Ranger Station - 99 Ranger Road, Rochester, 802-767-4261.

For more information about the Green Mountain National Forest, please visit: http://www.fs. usda.gov/greenmountain.