The saddest day of my childhood was when my mom told us that we were going with an artificial Christmas Tree. I was heartbroken. I know that's a pretty petty thing to consider one of my saddest memories but hear me out. This new monstrosity of a tree meant no visiting the tree farms in search for the best one, no fresh pine scent filling the house, and no getting prickles in your arm trying to water the tree. Please tell me you aren't going to rob your loved ones of the great experience of a real live Christmas Tree. Are you wondering where to buy? Check out our list of tree farms inside.

Four Corners

Across From Bozeman High school



Chop Down Your Own

Each year between mid November and and the end of December, Bozeman Forest Service Office will sell permits to allow you to cut down your own Christmas tree in any National Forest around Bozeman. The permits range from office to office but generally are around $10.

Requirements when cutting down your tree:

  • Tree trunk size must be less than 6 inches in diameter
  • Cut the trunk 6 inches from the ground. Cutting just the top of a tree off is not permited
  • Cut trees growing close together to help thin the forest
  • Chainsaws are prohibited. Only handsaws are allowed to cut down the tree. They can by examining the trunk what equipment you used.
  • Make permit visible on tree for easy check-out

The National Forest Service even provides a few tips in to keep your Christmas tree fresh longer.

When you get home, re-cut the end of the tree by 1 inch and let it stand in a bucket of the "Christmas Tree Life Extending Formula" (recipe below) until you’re ready to bring it indoors. Fill the tree stand reservoir twice a day (morning and evening) with the remaining mixture.


  • 2 gals. of hot water
  • 2 cups corn syrup
  • 2 oz. liquid bleach
  • 2 pinches epsom salts
  • 1/2 tsp. borax
  • 1 tsp. chelated iron (available at garden shops)


The corn syrup provides sugar, which allows the tree to soak up a lot more water than it normally would. Without sugar, only a small amount of water is absorbed by the branches and needles. You can expect the tree to soak up 1-1/2 gallons of the recipe during the 10 to 14 day period your tree is up, which is about 800 percent more water than it would have absorbed growing in the forest.

The boron (in the borax) makes the water and sugar move to every needle of your tree. The epsom salts and chelated iron provide magnesium sulfate which helps chlorophyll production, keeping your needles green. Bleach stops mold from forming when water and sugar stand too long in the tree holder.

More From The Moose 94.7 FM