How to find the perfect tree for Christmas in the Black Hills National Forest

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - With Christmas coming up, it's time to start the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree.

Before you head out to the forest... make sure to stop by a forest center first to pick up a tree permit. It costs $10. If you are looking to find the best spruce tree, go to higher elevations and north facing slopes.
To see how full the tree is, make sure to shake the snow off and check how sturdy it is. Once you find the perfect tree cut the stump within six inches of the ground then tie this orange tag to it.

For some, its a family tradition and for others its a first. But nothing beats the feeling of going out with a group to find the best one.

"Best part of a real tree is the family unity going out and finding that tree together. And when you bring it home you bring it home together and you decorate it together. And its just really a special meaning to have some time invested as a family going out and finding that tree that fits best for your home," says Black Hills National Forest Public Affairs Officer Scott Jacobson.

Not only do you get to take a tree home to your family but you are also helping the forest.

"So folks who have artificial trees will eventually end up in the landfill. And so we want to try to save our landfills if we can. Cutting down Christmas trees also helps manage our lands so it helps thin the forest and does our forest a favor by taking some of the undergrowth and creating a thinner forest," says Jacobson.