Tips and tricks to cutting down the perfect Christmas tree

(Jackson, Wyo.) - The weekend after Thanksgiving is one of the most popular times to head out to the forest to cut down a Christmas tree. Each year, the Bridger-Teton National Forest issues an average of 1,200 Christmas tree permits. With thousands of trees to choose from, we thought we would offer some tips and tricks to harvesting the perfect tree: *The Tree Hunt:* When you get your permit at the Forest Service office, they will give you a map that will show you where you can search for the tree. According to Mary Cernicek, the public affairs officer for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, open grown trees, far away from the roadways and out of thickets, tend to have the more traditional shape. "Finding a good tree is part of the delight of the hunt," she added. "Some people like junipers with berries on the tree. Others are partial to trees that are laden with pine cones and some just want a good, nicely shaped Douglas fir tree that tends to hold its needles longer than the lodgepole pine trees." *Cut 8" from the Ground:* All stumps must be cut within eight inches off the ground. "Remember you can always take the lower limbs and trim them at your residence to use them for holiday greenery," said Cernicek. *Sharpen Your Blade:* Don't forget to sharpen your blade or get a new one before you head into the forest. A sharp saw will make cutting down the tree much easier. *Take a Buddy (or the whole family!):* Go in pairs or bring the whole family. One person can cut and the other person can steady the tree and keep it from pinching the blade. A few people also makes carrying the tree out a whole lot easier. *Remember that 4th graders get a free permit:* As a part of the "Every Kid in a Park" initiative, the Forest Service is offering free permits to all fourth graders. In order for students to receive a free tree permit, they must present a valid paper voucher printed from the Every Kid in a Park website: Happy tree hunting! *Feature Photo: h/t Creative Commons / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news