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Hello,
I am new to HPA and I was wondering if anyone could offer up some helpful advice, should they have any regarding what it takes to start up a Christmas Tree Farm. I understand that it will take several years before the business would turn any profit, but for nearly two decades now, maybe even more, I have wanted to start one up. My financial situation is not the best, but I believe if I keep putting off planning, I will never reach that point in my life where I actually take that next step. I apologize ahead of time if this posting is out of place, etc. I just understand from speaking with friends that this site is filled with knowledgeable people and I decided I would pick your minds for any helpful information.
 

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I know people that have a tree farm. IMO if you have the land you can't go wrong, unless you're lazy. i think you can plant a few thousand trees on. 5 acres. figure. 7 years til you get full harvest. it can be more than just trees . too bad you're in Ohio, I'd be interested in teeming up with someone. i feel that strongly about it
 

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U need to trim yearly and also spray. If Ur in Pa u will need some red tags to help prevent damage. Guess it depends where u are located. In the burbs u can get 50 to 70 for a tree. Not so much in the stix. Do a little research to find out how fast trees will grow to harvest and what ones are not prone to disease n insect destruction. Climate and soil also factor.in.
 

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You need good soil to grow good trees. I tried planting some in north central pa. Without fertilizer, they grew slow, and were kind of yellow. White pines grew ok, but did not have good luck with the spruces and firs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the information guys. . .Surveyor, I wish I was back in PA as it would be nice to have someone to go into this field with who was as passionate about it as I am.
 

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smoke, google the "indiana county christmas tree growers association" they may be able to give you information on starting a tree farm.
 

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The guy I know doesn't really shear his too much. he says some people like the wild tree look. they still have the shape of a Christmas tree.
 

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I plan to plant 50 or so this spring.....not to make money, just so that in 15 years my kids can come hunt and go home with a deer and a tree. True story
 

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heck yea. double bonus. you won't have to wait 15 years though. unless you want a big tree for Christmas. there's a saying about trees when you plant them. for the first 3 years its sleep creep and leap as far as growth goes
 

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Here is what I would recommend
100 Douglas fir- fast growing
250 Fraizer Fir- Best tree on market..Top $$
100 Concolor fir- Best long needle fir

do not mes with canaan fir..had bad luck with drought summer needles will fall off ..

Blue spruce...if you plant it get a genetical blue blue ones
White pine is cheaper to buyas a christmas tree...do not waste your space on a $25 tree when grown..
Norway Spruce---Never ever buy or use as Christmas Tree...all needles will fall off after 7 days of cutting.

Plant a lot the first year as some will die and you will need to replace...plant super early in spring....also it is a waste of money to buy the larger tree seedlings as the small 2yr seedlings are able to root faster and preform better than an older seedling....good luck as I did it when my kids were 6yrs old. I was thinking when they are 16 and driving they could make easy money selling christmas Trees....so far the plan has been working...trees are about 4 feet tall and have 4 + years to go.....
 

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NICE...how far apart do you plant those?
 

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Thank you...i am hoping it will be a used lawn tractor in 2012
 

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My BIL had a tree farm (235 acres) and the happiest day of his life was when he sold the farm.. besides boarding horses he sold trees and with all that he had no time for himself or family
 

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I will only have about 50 or so trees on less than an acre right in front of the camp. Christmas trees for family,friends, perhaps one for the church is my hope, no commercial aspect at all. For me just another tradition based off a re-newable resource to perhaps pass down with the land.

But certainly a warning others considering going big should heed.
 

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RB-HPA said:
I will only have about 50 or so trees on less than an acre right in front of the camp. Christmas trees for family,friends, perhaps one for the church is my hope, no commercial aspect at all. For me just another tradition based off a re-newable resource to perhaps pass down with the land. But certainly a warning others considering going big should heed.
RB, I would steer clear of Fraser Fir if you have any deer population whatsoever. The bucks WILL find them and WILL destroy them. I am currently running more then 5 thousand Christmas trees including 700 Fraser Fir. The buck will rub them starting in August and continue through January. I seem to lose about 50 Frasers each year to deer damage. I have about 4 thousand douglas fir and lose one or two a season to deer.

Some other things I would like to comment on from previous posts are about size of planting stock. The bigger, the better. I plant a 2-2 or a 2-3 transplant. That means the tree is in the seedbed for 2 years then transplanted for another 2 or 3 years before I buy them from a nursery. They have a more developed root system and willl have a better survivor rate. Plant on a slope with a northern exposure if possible (mine are not and I got whacked by a late frost 3 out of the last 4 years) for good air drainage.

Last, Red tags......not going to happen unless you make 50% of your total income from tree sales. I tried going down that road.
 

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RB-HPA said:
I plan to plant 50 or so this spring.....not to make money, just so that in 15 years my kids can come hunt and go home with a deer and a tree. True story
Very cool idea! We did that for years at our camp in Clarion, will remember that memory for life. Gary U
 

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Labx2 how is the rad decline in your area? It has showed up here in the county, but with a spray program seem to be controled.
 
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