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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anyone here grow's "christmas" trees. I have approx. 6 acres open to use. I have a couple questions:
How much will the trees cost approx.?
How many could I expect to plant on 6 acres?
How many times a year do they need pruned?
How long would it take (on average) for the tree to grow from 6" to the approx. size?
Would I be better of planting something else?
Recommendations appreciated.

Thanks, for looking. I'm just kicking the idea around. I don't have much other use for the land.
 

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are you looking for a profit or looking to just build up habitat? nothing ill mannered in my question, just don't understand what YOU want out of the 6 acres as in hunting it, or selling trees, etc...
 

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If you go to corrinos nurseries website it will tell you all about spacing, # trees per acre, suitable types of trees, etc... They may not ship much longer this spring so you may want to do your research and planning for next year.
We have used them and have been pleased.
 

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Here is my opinion to you. I do not know how much time it takes and the money to start up ect. However if you are looking to sell them for actual christmas trees people put in their home, you need to trim them very nice. Good xmas tree places are coming hard to find because people dont take care of them enough and they look like junk. Anyways if you want to make more money you are better off letting them grow bigger and sell them to landscaping places that setup developments. One of the best tree farms in our area stopped selling to the xmas tree public and now only sell to the building/development places. They have machines that pull the tree and roots and sell them for double and triple the price of what they can get for xmas trees.

Obviously thats a lot of money to tie up into trees and time if you dont have the market to buy for developments and what not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. I'm just looking for something to put on the open lot, that I may be able to get a return from. I'm not looking/expecting to get rich over it.
I plan on letting the property sit for a while (and its already open) so I figured maybe I'd plant something on it to help with taxes and such.
171 I thought about that also (selling to developer/landscapers). I guess I'm just looking for opinions as to what to plant.
Thanks again,
 

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If you go into growing trees, you will change your name to Always Working. Try renting your property to a farmer, around here we get $55 an acre.
 

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Always, I have several thousand Christmas trees growing on my property. I got started about 7 years ago and will have my first harvest this year, maybe a hundred Douglas Fir. I usually plant 500-700 a year so they I have a good rotation of mature trees and not too much work to do all at once. I plant 3-0 Douglas, Fraser, Canaan and Balsam Fir. The trees cost about 30 cents each and I hand plant them with a dibble bar. Once of the most important aspects is weed control, especially when they are young. After about 3 years in the field they will need to be pruned to remove double leaders and limbs too close to the ground. A year or two after that is when I start to "shape" them, wich is done usually mid-July. I also fertilize after the second year in the field. Then there is the never ending mowing between the rows. You may also need to spray for pests and diseases. If you can keep the deer out of them in about 7-10 years you will have a marketable tree for the Douglas Fir and about 10 years for the Fraser and other true firs. The Fraser Firs will fetch anywere from $40 on up, depending upon the quality and where you sell them (wholsale vs. choose and cut). Douglas Fir start around $25. Growing marketable trees is a lot of work but I believe it is more profitable than leasing ground to farmers (did that). I also enjoy being out side any chance I get and this gives me a good excuse. If you get 5000 marketable trees and sell them for $20 that equals $100,000. You will have some losses from planting and deer damage but the inital cost of the seedlings are pretty small. My advice woud be to visit a tree farm and learn as much about it before deciding on doing it. The Penn State website has a lot of information about growing Christmas trees.
 

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That comes out to $10,000 a year income. Not everyone is willing to invest their time and expenses, to wait ten years for a possible return. Lets also remember you have to purchase the equipment for mowing and spraying.

cash flow is another problem with this business, does he have the funds to spend for the next ten years. He certainly isn't going to recover his outlay of cash, with the first years sales.

On the plus side, it is a deduction from your income tax liability on your federal tax form. With only six acres, I would consider it a hobby business.
 

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I by no means make a living off of it, and started it out as a hobby, beer money, I call it. I really enjoy it and will have all of my fields, approx. 30 acres, planted within the next 5 years hopefully. I will be retired in 9 years at a fairly young age and this will help keep me busy and supplement my income. With only six acres you are not going to get rich, but why not do something with it if you enjoy it. A friend of mine with a larger farm sells over 6000 trees on a YEARLY basis and still has a full time job. He does hire help in the summer to trim though. A lot of his sales are online to the bigger cities. It is unreal what some people will pay to have a tree delivered to their door. It is not an adventure for everyone though.
 
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