FROSTPROOF, Fla. - Christmas tree prices, for both live and artificial trees, are higher this year for a variety of reasons. But there’s one way to cut your cost and have a woodsy adventure all at the same time: How about trekking into the forest and cutting down your own tree?
You can do that at Lake Wales Ridge State Forest.
"People have been really pleased to bring their family out here and get away from the urban setting," said Cory Walk of the Florida Forest Service.
All you have to do is pay for a $10 permit on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday at the forestry office there, grab a hand saw, and find and cut down your tree any day from now until three days before Christmas.
The forestry office is located at 851 CR 630 East in Frostproof.
The trees that are up for grabs are located not too far from there, along School Bus Road and State Road 64 on the Arbuckle Tract.
The permit allows you to cut down a sand pine up to 15 feet tall.
Sand pines are not as dense as the trees we are all used to getting at the big-box stores and tree stands around town. But venturing into the woods and hunting for your perfect Christmas tree with your loved ones is an experience not to be forgotten.
It brings back memories for Jerry Smith, who has lived in the Lake Wales-Frostproof area all his life. Into the woods he and his kin would go.
"We would usually take the whole family; my brother, my cousins, that kind of thing, and look around until we found a tree," he recalled.
Aside from being a day out with nature, cutting a certain number of sand pines is actually good for the environment. Experts say if they are not kept in check, they can over take other species and push them out.
For more information about your next possible Christmas tree adventure, call the forestry office at (863) 589-0545.