DENVER -- With several tree lots claiming to have a shortage this season, it might be the perfect year to cut down your own tree.
Multiple U.S. Forest Service districts in Colorado are offering people the chance to get out into the forests, pick the perfect tree and cut it down themselves.
But there's only certain places you can go and it requires a permit.
Each permit is only $10, which is a lot cheaper than you'll find at Christmas tree lots or the stores.
There are some regulations. In most cases, the trees cut down must be less than 15 feet tall, cannot be greater than 6 inches in diameter at the base and they can not be resold.
But the regulations differ depending on the park so you want to make sure you check with the ranger station.
There are five Christmas tree cutting areas:
- Buffalo Creek: 303-275-5610
- Red Feather Lakes: 970-295-6700
- Fraser/Winter Park: 970-887-4100
- South Park: 719-836-2031
- Pikes Peak Ranger District: 719-636-1602
The Buffalo Creek lot is the closest to the Denver metro area and as of Monday, it's already limited on the number of permits left and is sold out for Saturday.
If you do plan on going to cut your own tree, rangers say you will need four-wheel drive or at the very least traction devices such as chains.
You should be prepared for cold conditions even if it's warm in Denver.
Rangers also recommend purchasing the permit before arriving at the park, but they're also available at many of the offices.
You also need to bring a hand saw or ax to cut down the tree (no chainsaws are allowed) as well as straps to attach it to a vehicle.
But don't do what these folks in Sadbury, Massachusetts, did. Police remind you to transport trees responsibly.