Christmas Trees

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Upper trail

Cutting a Yukon tree can be an enjoyable way to experience our forests this holiday season. Forest Management Branch and the City have teamed up to identify areas within and outside Whitehorse where households can cut up to two trees.

Visit the website for maps of allowable cutting areas, guidelines and a description of tree types.

Tree Cutting Guidelines

  • Cut only from vacant crown land in the areas identified in the interactive map;
  • Do not cut from power line corridors;
  • Do not cut on private property, or cross private land without permission;
  • Do not cut from urban parks and playground areas;
  • Be prepared for all weather conditions;
  • Park your vehicle safely and responsibly;
  • Do not drive beyond gated areas. You can proceed beyond gates on foot only;
  • Adhere to the ATV and Snowmobile Bylaws when using those vehicles;
  • Prevent household fires:
    • Use only electric lights and never candles to decorate your tree;
    • Use LEDs, which produce less heat than incandescents (take old lights to Raven Recycling); and
    • Secure your tree away from candles or a woodstove.

Which tree is better: real or artificial tree?

The Christmas tree debate has been going on since the first artificial trees made their appearance in the 1800s. While there are pros and cons to both, at the City of Whitehorse, we’re all in favour of using Yukon trees if you plan to bring one into your home this holiday season.

The case for real trees

Trees play an important role in our local and global ecosystem, and enhance our urban environment. This doesn’t mean we can’t cut them down. Trees are renewable, and if composted or chipped, continue to retain the carbon they’ve taken from the air.

Cutting trees can also help thin Whitehorse forests. Trees that are too close together compete for resources and do not prosper. There are many forested areas in Whitehorse that could benefit from strategic thinning to reduce wildfire risk.

Trees are also a welcome resource at our municipal waste management facility. We chip them to add needed carbon into our compost feedstock, or to use as cover for the landfill.

The folly of fake trees

Artificial trees do have their benefits. They can be cheap, easy to clean up, and attractive. Despite their reusability, they do eventually wear out, and many artificial trees and their boxes end up in our waste stream.

The resources required to make, package, and ship those artificial trees doesn’t make sense when you have a forest practically outside your door.

If you already have an artificial tree, by all means keep using it! But for those who don’t, consider a Yukon tree.

Tree disposal

If you’re on curbside collection, place your tree at the curb for collection by January 9. They are picked up free of charge by the Transportation crews. Don’t be alarmed if the tree waits there for over a week—it just means the crews are busy with more pressing matters, such as snow clearing.

If you’re not on curbside collection, you can take your tree to the Waste Management Facility and drop it off for a small fee.

More words about waste

Christmas is a time of year when people have a high potential to generate waste. Try to make good environmental choices when making purchases:

  • Consider waste-free gifts such as experiences and gift cards;
  • Check out Zero Waste Yukon’s waste-free advent calendar for ideas;
  • Buy used or reuse;
  • Minimize gift wrapping, or use reusable wrappers like bags;
  • Visit our Holiday Waste page for more tips and collection date changes.