Have an axe? You can use it in a sustainable forest in Northern Finland to get your own Xmas fir, Source: Unsplash

Hunt your own Xmas tree: that’s the offer in Northern Finland

Hunt your own Xmas tree: that’s the offer in Northern Finland

If you have 10 euros for a permit, and your own axe, then there are designated forests you can head out to

Metsähallitus, the Finnish Forest Administration, has announced that it has an online service where people can purchase a permit to chop their own Christmas tree. Think of it like a hunting license and getting back to basics by honouring an ancient and beloved Nordic tradition when papa could bring the fir tree home from the snowy forest.

That being said, the tradition has to keep in line with the contemporary standards of eco-consciousness and sustainability, which is why permits are involved (each costing 10 euros). Not only that, but would-be timber enthusiasts can’t just go chopping down anywhere they wish. They will have to head out to one of the designated forests in the regions of Kainuu, North Ostrobothnia and Lapland, all of them in northern Finland.

Old-school yuletide with new-school rules

On one hand, the aim of the forestry authorities is to keep the outdoorsy spirit alive, at least for people living in these more rural areas. But on the other hand, the three Rs of rules, regulations and restrictions are rearing their heads, as they always do, to limit the axing fun a bit and keep it responsible.

The tree may be no taller than three metres and must be standing no more than 20 metres from a road.

Even with a valid permit, Christmas trees may not be harvested from conservation or camping areas.

And it is the responsibility of the permit holder to ensure that the tree is on multiple-use forest land managed by Metsähallitus before chopping it down.

In recent years, 2,000–2,500 Christmas trees have been collected by permit holders from the state's forests each year.



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