Skip to Content

Cut your own Christmas tree at Ocala National Forest

Ocala National Forest is one of the few places in Florida where you hike into the woods and cut down a Christmas tree.

But you need a permit.

christmas tree at ocala national forest christmas tree ocala collage Cut your own Christmas tree at Ocala National Forest
Cutting your Christmas tree in Ocala National Forest: No, it doesn’t look like Vermont, does it? But what a Florida adventure! We are grateful to read Amber Ingley for sharing these photos from her outing in December 2022.

Get a $10 permit and you can chop down a Christmas tree at Ocala National Forest. Rangers will direct permit-holders to one of the designated areas at the time you receive your permit.

Tree harvesting ends Dec 24.

This year, all permit requests are being handled online

When you receive your permit, you get a map to the sites where you can cut your tree.

Unlike tree farms, these sand-pine trees have not been treated for bugs, so small beetles may crawl out once the tree is in your home. Sand pine trees are the only native Florida Christmas tree. They’re not commercially sold because the branches are too weak for heavy ornaments.

Call (352) 625-2520 for more information.

Closeup of a Florida sand pine, the type of tree you can cut in Ocala National Forest.
Closeup of a Florida sand pine, the tree you get if you cut your own Christmas tree at Ocala National Forest.

Ocala National Forest web page about cutting your own Christmas tree.

Here’s a YouTube video of someone cutting one down.

Here’s more about the Florida sand pine

From Florida Rambler: Things to do in Ocala National Forest

Florida also has Christmas tree farms

In Central and Northern Florida, you can also buy Christmas trees from farms where they are grown. The farms grow a variety of types of pines — red cedar, Virginia pine, sand pine, spruce pine and Leyland cypress.

This page provides a locator map for Florida Christmas tree growers who are members of the Florida Christmas Tree Association. Many offer potted trees, pre-cut trees and choose-and-cut trees. Some also offer wreaths, arts and crafts, gifts, and family activities such as hay rides. 

christmas tree at ocala national forest christmas tree Cut your own Christmas tree at Ocala National Forest
Christmas trees at a Florida farm. (Photo courtesy Florida Christmas Tree Association)

Other holiday-oriented Florida Rambler stories

Notes from the editor:

The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning visits.

This page may include affiliate links from which we earn modest commissions if a purchase is made. 

This article is property of FloridaRambler.com, protected by U.S. Copyright Law. Re-publication without written permission is against the law.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.