FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A national forest in northern Arizona says it will allow Christmas trees to be cut around Flagstaff for the first time in decades.

The Coconino National Forest says 200 permits will be available for pinon and juniper trees in the Flagstaff Ranger District. Forest spokesman George Jozens says the trees are crowding out young ponderosa pines south of the San Francisco Peaks and east of Flagstaff in areas burned by wildfire.

The forest is taking public comment until Sept. 6. Jozens says that's because the forest has proposed excluding the tree-cutting areas from an environmental analysis.

He says removing the pinon and juniper would improve the forest's health.

The forest offers hundreds of Christmas tree permits annually for its Mogollon Rim Ranger District.