Christmas Trees for Conservation

Improve forest health, support stewardship and conservation education and shop locally at SJMA’s Christmas Trees for Conservation Lot! Christmas Trees for Conservation is this SJMA’s biggest fundraiser of the year, popular with our volunteers and customers. Each year we begin selling both local white fir (cut from the San Juan National Forest) and Wisconsin balsam first the day after Thanksgiving. Volunteers donate hundreds of hours to help cut trees, set up the lot, and sell the trees.

New this year, SJMA will have a pop-up-shop alongside the tree sales. We will have some fun stocking stuffers and gifts for everyone in the family.

Shop local and support stewardship and conservation education on Southwest Colorado’s public lands!

Christmas Tree Lot Details

Dates: Friday November 26, 2021 – Sunday December 19, 2021 (or until all trees sell out)

Hours:  Sundays – Fridays from 12:00pm – 6:00pm; Saturdays from 9:00am – 6:00pm

Main Location: At the corner of Camino del Rio and College Avenue (Train parking lot). This location made possible by a generous partnership with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and the City of Durango.

Satellite Location: Nature’s Oasis, 300 S Camino Del Rio, Durango (farmed, Wisconsin firs only)

Types of Trees

SJMA sells both freshly cut local white fir and sustainably farmed balsam trees from Wisconsin. All proceeds from your tree purchase go towards public lands stewardship programs and conservation education.

Local White Fir Trees are 100% wild grown right here in the San Juan National Forest which means an almost nonexistent transportation carbon footprint.  There are no pesticides, fertilizers, or irrigation used. Mother nature is the only one that tends to these. That is why the white fir trees are not as full and have smaller trunks. These trees can be anywhere from 10 to 30 years old. A large group of SJMA volunteers goes into the forest and cut these trees from a designated area. Thank you, volunteers!

Why Cut White Fir? Thinning white fir trees improves forest health by reducing the risk of catastrophic wild fire. While some fire is very helpful and necessary for the forest, white firs of Christmas tree size can act as “ladder fuels”. This means they allow fire to climb from the underbrush up to the crowns of the tallest trees. Crown fires can spread more quickly and can be harder to control. SJMA cuts white fir trees from the forest that the San Juan National Forest identifies as areas that will benefit most from thinning.

Farmed Balsam Fir Trees: The ideal growing conditions and yearly fertilization allow the balsam trees to reach a perfect shape and size in just six to ten years. While the trees are growing, they provide habitat for birds, squirrels, and other woodland creatures. We have often found bird nests in these trees and every now and then a mouse makes the long trip from Wisconsin!

Volunteer Opportunities

Give the gift of your time to your public lands this holiday season. Volunteer to help cut local white fir trees, set up the lot or sell trees to folks in our community. The Christmas Tree sale is a terrific opportunity for service groups, social organizations and individuals to support their local public lands.

Volunteering for a 3 hour shift at the sale is a wonderful way to spend time during this special season. You’ll see people you know from around the area and help them purchase the perfect tree for their holiday.

If you are interested in volunteering, learn more at SJMA’s Volunteer Opportunities.

Smokey at the Chraistmas Tree sale