FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Many families enjoy the tradition of setting up their Christmas tree. The trees are sometimes bought at local Christmas tree pop-up shops or from a box that could be used over and over again. But there is one other classic method that is used less and less: cutting down your own tree from the woods.

While one might think this tradition should be frowned upon due to things like deforestation, recreation.gov says these traditions can actually contribute to the overall forest health.

Through Christmas tree permits, citizens can help forests by cutting down smaller trees from densely populated areas that are the perfect size for Christmas trees. You can purchase the permits online ahead of your visit to the forest in your area.

During the process, you state which participating forest will work best for your Christmas tree outing. Each forest will have specific guidelines and season dates for cutting a holiday tree. Prices also vary from forest to forest.

Make sure you read the details and rules of your permit in order to be safe and prepared. Follow the “Need to Know” suggestions to prepare for your visit. Make sure to purchase and print your permit to start your adventure in finding this year’s perfect tree.