How long does it take to grow a christmas tree farm

Where Christmas trees come from, explained by a tree farmer

Karabin Farms is located right in the middle of Connecticut, which means that for the last four decades, Diana Karabin has been selling Christmas trees to the good families of Bristol, Waterbury, New Britain, and every other township in between. She and her husband moved to the state in 1972 and started the farm so it could serve as an idyllic environment for their children. But by the ’80s, the Karabins had accumulated more than 100 acres of land, and Diana decided to give the yuletide business a shot.

The average evergreen pine takes over about 11 years to grow to 6 feet and requires repeated shearing to keep its picturesque look. Once a crop is prepped for market, they’ll sell out in a matter of weeks. Diana says her busiest weekend is the one after Thanksgiving, as the country gets its first taste of the Christmas season.

No company is exclusively built around Christmas trees, and Karabin Farms has diversified well outside of its seasonal decor. Diana sells apples freshly picked from their orchard, meat products sourced from their livestock, and bouquets pulled from the greenhouses around the farm. In fact, Diana tells me that pine farming is one of the more stressful parts of her business. Mother Nature is fickle, and there’s always something on the horizon to worry about. The Karabins don’t rely on irrigation to keep their trees alive. Instead, they simply hope for rain. This season, Connecticut was mired in a severe drought, which means that hundreds of Diana’s new saplings died in the parched soil. That won’t matter this Christmas — remember, these trees take a long time to mature — but 10 years down the line, the Karabins’ customers might be suffering through a light crop.

Still, it’s easy to socially distance when picking out a tree, and the Karabins are blessed to work outdoors. The family farm is exempt from some of the more pernicious questions facing other businesses in the pandemic, but Diana does make sure to enforce all the rules. Hand sanitizer is everywhere, as are foot-activated portable sinks and one-way directional signs. She’s become accustomed to telling her customers to keep their mask over their nose, even as they’re taking an ax to a Douglas fir. We talked about that, as well as her favorite Christmas tree varieties and why she thinks business will be better than ever during the pandemic.

“Christmas trees don’t have that perfect look naturally; that’s all man-made”

What’s your background in the Christmas tree business?

We purchased this property back in 1984. We decided that we needed to get some money out of the land in order to pay for it, and one of our ideas was to grow Christmas trees. So in the mid-80s, we started planting trees. We thought the sales each year would allow us to pay for the college tuition for our kids.

What are some of the mistakes people make when they first start growing these trees?

I don’t know if we’ve ever learned to be completely successful, because mother nature has a way of humbling you. This year, for instance, we planted 500 seedlings of one variety, and out of that 500, 480 died because of the drought. We’re not capable of irrigation. We depend on rain. So, at the end of the day, we lost a huge swath of our planting. The thing is, though, Christmas trees take a really long time to grow. So this loss will be felt eight years down the road. That’s when those trees won’t be available.

How long does it take to grow a field of trees?

It takes about 11 years for a tree to reach 6 feet tall. When they go in the ground, they’re already 4 feet tall, and it takes another seven years, at minimum, before they hit the requisite height. So you’re talking about a very long-term investment. Along the way, you’re shaping and trimming the trees. Christmas trees don’t have that perfect look naturally; that’s all man-made. So it takes all those years of pruning to get it right. And of course feeding and fertilizing them, making sure they’re insect- and disease-free. There’s a lot going on.

Is that difficult for you guys? Is there a chance that one thing could go wrong in those 11 years that wipes out a crop of trees?

Obviously, we’re at the mercy of the weather. We’re at the mercy of whatever insect happens to be flying by. But for the most part, because of our intense maintenance, once we’ve got the trees going, we’re in good shape. Though, one time, we planted a particular variety of tree, and about three years later, they died. We were really perplexed as to why that happened because they seemed to be doing well. It turns out, the land that we’re on had corn planted in it once upon a time. The chemical used on that corn got into the ground, and it’s toxic to that particular variety of Christmas tree. We’ve planted other trees successfully there, but not that one. This chemical was used before we were here, which tells you how long ago it was. And that chemical has since been pulled from the market.

Do you have a favorite type of Christmas tree that you grow?

We’ve always grown Douglas firs. That’s a soft tree. If you have children or pets, they aren’t going to poke their eyes out. The past few years we’ve been bringing Concolors into the house. They’re incredibly hardy. We tend to keep our tree up all year to see how far we can push the envelope. This year, we took it down around July 1, and it was pretty crunchy. But the Concolor needles don’t fall off of it. This year, we’re bringing in a Meyer Spruce to our home, which is supposed to be even more resilient. If I talk to you next year, I’ll let you know if we take it down around November.

Is that important to you? To get the user experience of how all these different trees work in a household?

Absolutely. We have greenhouses here where we grow a huge variety of flowers and foliage. We plant those for ourselves and treat them the way our customers might. Most likely, consumers aren’t going to fertilize their plants after they buy from us. They’re just going to water it and forget about it. I want to see how those plants perform so I can educate my consumers on what works and what doesn’t. That’s how it is for the Christmas trees, too.

“The whole production of Christmas has changed over the years. ... People feel pressure to get their trees up.”

What’s your busiest time of the year?

This upcoming weekend [after Thanksgiving]. That’s changed over the years. The busiest weekend, prior to Christmas, used to be the second week of December. But the whole production of Christmas has changed over the years. These days, you see Christmas stuff in stores next to the Halloween stuff. People feel pressure to get their trees up. I’m talking to you on the Monday of Thanksgiving week, and I’m selling a lot of trees today.

Christmas trees are basically only sold for a month at the end of the year. What’s it like to be in a business where you are expected to turn a profit in a very short amount of time?

I don’t think you ever get used to it. We’re really nervous. They’re promising rain this weekend, and that might mean sales are depressed. We can only hope that we can recover in the next few weekends. We just have to roll with the punches. We prognosticate our sales as best we can with our experience. And then we hope it all goes well.

How has your business reacted to the Covid-19 regulations?

I’ve got the whole nine yards. I’ve got the signs all through the pre-cut Christmas trees and in the cut-your-own Christmas trees, asking people to respect social distancing. I have foot-activated hand sanitizer. I have a portable sink with soap and water outside. In the store, I’ve got arrows that go one direction. I’ve got the plexiglass screens over the registers. And masks are required, and I make a lot of people upset because I say, “Would you please pull your mask up above your nose? Because it’s doing nothing for me or you right now.” I don’t want to see your nose.

Do you think the pandemic will change the demand for Christmas decorations this year?

I honestly think that sales are going to increase. People are staying home more. They’re in their own cocoon. They want something that will make them happy and cheerful, and Christmas decorations in the house do that. I hope I’m right. I felt that way when we were selling pumpkins in autumn. We didn’t expect to be busy, but we very much were.

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How Long Does It Take to Grow a Christmas Tree?

Have you ever been tempted to grow your own Christmas tree and wondering how long it takes? Or maybe you’re pondering the thought that you could start a small Christmas tree farm?

If you’ve got land to spare then growing Christmas trees is a great way to make use of it, but you need to be aware that it can be a long-term commitment.

The trees commonly used for our festive decorations are normally a rapidly growing variety, but even the fastest-growing tree will take time before it is big enough to use.

How Long Does It Take to Grow a Christmas Tree

There are many different types of Christmas trees, and each variety has a different growth rate. The slow-growing Balsam Fir grows 12″ per year, whereas the fast-growing Leyland Cypress can grow over 24″ each year. In the right conditions, some Christmas trees can grow 4ft each year.

How fast your Christmas tree grows depends on the stage you purchase it at. Christmas trees have several stages of growth; the seed stage (which is slow), then a growth spurt (from sapling), and then the growth rate slows down again once it reaches mature height.

Be aware that many Christmas tree varieties grow to a great height, so you’ll see significant growth for quite a few years. They can be shaped by pruning, to some extent, but you may lose that traditional “Christmas tree look” if you need to prune the top.

You can significantly increase the tree’s growth rate by purchasing a sapling, versus growing it from seed.

Let’s take a look at some of the different varieties of Christmas trees and how long they take to grow.

How Long Do Different Types of Christmas Tree Take to Grow?Look at Christmas trees that are native to your area, if possible. They’re the varieties that will adjust to your climate the best, and grow the fastest!

Many people don’t realize that different types of trees grow at different speeds! And nowadays, Christmas trees come in many different varieties, all with specific desirable traits.

Each variety of tree has very specific growing conditions in which it will thrive; a tree planted in the wrong place will not grow at the optimum rate.

Let’s take a look at the most common types of Christmas trees and find out how long they take to grow!

Balsam FirBeautiful foliage of the Balsam Fir.

This tree is most commonly grown in areas with colder winters and cool summers, such as the eastern U. S.

The balsam fir is one of the easiest Christmas trees to grow, as they require little maintenance to keep them looking perfect.

Growth Rate – Slow; 12 inches per year

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10/10/2022 02:42 am GMT

Douglas FirThe great Douglas Fir, native to Western North America.

The Douglas fir prefers a milder climate to the Balsam fir and is popular in the northwest U.S.

This variety is particularly good for holding its needles after cutting, avoiding the dreaded needle drop! It is also naturally cone-shaped and needs little maintenance.

Douglas fir is a popular choice for Christmas tree buyers, as it has a deep blue-green color and dense needles. It also has the classic Christmas tree scent that we all adore!

Growth Rate – Medium; 13 to 24 inches per year

Scotch PineScotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

The Scotch pine has a deep taproot, making it able to thrive in areas prone to drought. However, it does need regular trimming as it will not normally grow in a natural cone shape.

The best thing about the Scotch pine is that it hangs onto its needles for a long time, even without water.

Growth Rate – Medium; 12 to 24 inches per year

Leyland Cypress

This sapless tree is commonly grown in the southern states of the U.S. The Leyland cypress is a fast-growing variety of Christmas tree, with the young saplings shooting up by 3 to 4 feet per year in the right conditions.

Growth Rate – Fast; over 24 inches per year

Tips for the Best Christmas Tree Variety

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Christmas tree types – in the U. S alone, there are more than 35 commonly grown types of Christmas trees!

To see what type will grow best in your area and climate it is worth asking around to see what other farmers and homesteaders grow.

Tree saplings can be quite expensive, plus there is a large time commitment when you decide to allocate a piece of land for trees. It is vital that you pick the right variety at the start to give your trees the best possible chance of thriving.

As you can see, many factors affect how long it takes for a Christmas tree to grow!

The most important thing is that you pick the right tree type for your soil type and climate. There is no point expecting a fast-growing Leyland cypress to thrive in a cold climate, and a Balsam fir will not thank you for being planted in a warm area.

Christmas Tree Growth Rate FAQ

If you’re thinking about growing Christmas trees, we’re sure you have plenty of questions! Here is our guide to how fast Christmas trees grow, and everything else you might want to know.

How Fast Does a Christmas Tree Grow?

Trees do not grow at a continuous rate throughout their lifetime. So, when thinking about how fast a Christmas tree will grow, we need to look at the different life stages.

The first stage is when the tree germinates from a seed and grows into a sapling. This is a long and slow process, and it can take up to 4 years for a tree to get to just 1 foot tall. Now you will understand why a lot of Christmas tree growers prefer to purchase saplings rather than grow trees from seed!

The second stage is when the tree will grow at the fastest rate. Once the sapling is planted out, it will start to put on a huge growth spurt – pretty much like when children hit their teenage years! This means that, in the right conditions, a Christmas tree could grow up to 4 feet in one year.

As a tree gets closer to its mature height, the rate of growth will start to slow down. Most of the varieties commonly used for Christmas trees are actually trees that will grow to a great height, so if left unchecked they will grow at a fast rate for several years!

How Long Does It Take to Grow a 5ft Christmas Tree?

People in smaller homes very commonly opt for a 5-foot Christmas tree. This is one of the most popular sizes of Christmas tree, as it will fit easily into the average family home. But how long does it take for a Christmas tree to reach this size?

Fast-growing varieties may reach 5 feet in just four years after being planted out as a sapling. Slower-growing trees will take longer than this, but they are more likely to have a full, dense shape. 

How Long Does It Take to Grow a 7ft Christmas Tree?

Families in larger homes may decide to get a bigger tree, with 7-foot trees one of the second most popular sizes. These taller trees are also often the festive tree of choice for businesses such as restaurants and food stores.

A 7-foot Christmas tree will take between 8 and 12 years to grow from a sapling. If you are growing from seed, expect to add at least 3 years onto this timeframe.

How Long Does It Take to Grow a Christmas Tree on a Christmas Tree Farm?

If you’re thinking of allocating some of your land to start a Christmas tree farm, this can be a good way to bring in some extra cash for your homestead. Once you have bought your saplings the main cost of running a Christmas tree farm is in the manual labor, so if you can do the work yourself then you should make a healthy profit!

From the point at which you plant your saplings, you should have enough decent-sized trees to start selling them after eight years. By this time, you will have a range of trees between 5 and 7 feet tall, but some will still be smaller than this.

Expect to replace about an eighth of your trees with new saplings each year to ensure a continuous supply. You will also need to control weeds under your trees, and undertake regular pruning and shaping to create perfect conical Christmas trees.

Can You Keep a Christmas Tree Alive All Year?

If a Christmas tree has been cut down above the root, then unfortunately that is the end of life for that tree. It will last plenty long enough in your home to give you a glorious festive display, but once the new year arrives it will start to drop its needles and fade away.

But what if you want a year-round Christmas tree – is there an alternative option?
Nowadays it is much easier to get your hands on a Christmas tree with the roots still attached. This means that, once Christmas is over and done with, you can plant your tree outside where it will hopefully thrive.

Alternatively, plant your rooted Christmas tree in a pot when you purchase it. This option works well for smaller trees, which can live year-round in your yard in its pot. Then all you need to do is carry it in when it is time to put your decorations up!

The only problem with this system is that your Christmas tree will continue to grow, and it can get pretty large. Regular pruning will help to keep your tree in shape, but after several years you may need to abandon this tree and start again with a new small one.

Do you grow your own Christmas trees? What sort of growth rate have you seen? What’s your favorite variety of Christmas tree? Let us know in the comments!

Want to know more about growing Christmas trees, either for yourself or as a commercial Christmas tree farm? Check out this great book below!

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10/10/2022 05:56 am GMT

8 Tips for Choosing and Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree

Trekking through the woods in crisp weather to choose and cut your own special Christmas tree is a time-honored holiday tradition.

If you want to add the cut-your-own Christmas tree custom to your seasonal festivities this year, here are eight tips to have a successful tree-hunting experience.

Tips for Choosing and Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree

Before you head out to cut your own Christmas tree, measure your space at home so you know how tall and wide your Christmas tree should be. Choose a tree about 12″ to 18″ shorter than your measurements to account for the tree stand and the top ornament.

Study the tree from every angle and pull on some needles to make sure it’s healthy – not drought-affected or on its way out. When you’re ready to cut, have someone hold the tree so it stays upright. Cut about 6″ above the ground.

Hold your saw as horizontally as possible and make long, steady cuts back and forth. When the Christmas tree starts to lean, do NOT push it over. Continue to saw until you’ve completely severed the trunk.

We’ll run through the full details of the 8 steps for cutting your own Christmas tree below.

1. Research Your Christmas Tree Farm and Activity Options

A Christmas tree farm in Vermont that offers many homegrown maple goodies too. See the saws on the wall ready for you to use!

There are thousands of choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms located throughout the U.S., which means you have plenty of options.

Do some research before you head to a Christmas tree farm to ensure the site you choose is open for business. Some Christmas tree farms are only open on the weekends or for limited weekday hours.

Smaller family operations may have closed their choose-and-cut operations despite having current business listings.

If you’re taking kids on your Christmas tree quest, or you want to make your trip a grownup fun day, check out the extra holiday amenities available for visitors to tree farms.

Some Christmas tree farms that are open to the public only grow and sell trees during the holidays and have no special attractions.

More elaborate Christmas tree farms offer holiday amenities including one or more of the following:

  • Visits and pictures with Santa
  • Sleigh rides, miniature trains, or hay rides
  • Hot cocoa, sandwiches, and snacks
  • Petting zoos
  • Live reindeer
  • Gift and ornament shops
  • Kids’ play areas
  • Holiday villages
  • Ice skating rinks
  • Holiday light displays

Many Christmas tree farms sell holiday wreaths and garlands made from the trimmings of their trees. Some farms offer paint-your-own ornament sessions, gingerbread-house-building activities, and other arts-and-crafts projects that make the season bright.

In colder tree-farm locations, fire pits and bonfires provide warm spots to escape the chill and roast a few marshmallows.

2. Obtain Proper Permits and Permission to Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

You don’t have to visit a commercial Christmas tree farm to pick out and cut your own holiday evergreen. If you own a large tract of woodland or know someone who does, you can find a tree on the land for free.

However, never trespass on private property to find a holiday tree, even if the land isn’t fenced or you can’t find the owner.

Always get permission from the landowner before you search for a tree on their property.

Alert the landowner to the time and date when you plan to visit their woodland because Christmas tree gathering season overlaps with hunting season in many states.

Dodging bullets while searching for the perfect tree isn’t a festive holiday activity!

If you insist on having an authentic, old-fashioned Christmas tree harvest, but you don’t know anyone who owns land or a wood lot, consider hunting for your tree on national forest land in your area.

You’re permitted to harvest Christmas trees and firewood for personal use in most national forests, but you do need the proper permits.

Look up the contact number or email address for the USDA National Forest District Office near your home.

The staff at the district office have the information you need concerning specific permits, dates, times, and tree-cutting rules in the national forest closest to you.

They’ll direct you to the district offices that have jurisdiction over more distant national forest properties if you ask.

Carry your permit with you the entire time you’re on national forest land. Bring an official USDA Forest Service map along to avoid getting lost and to stay within the designated tree-cutting areas.

You should receive a tree tag with your permit. Place the tag on your tree before you load it onto your vehicle.

3. Dress for the Weather and the Work

Make sure you’re all snug and warm when you’re going on a Christmas tree hunt!

Learn the weather forecast for the time, location, and date of your Christmas tree adventure, and check the forecast again the day of your trip. Then, dress for the holiday activity in rugged clothes that are suitable for the outdoors.

Layer your outfit, so you can add or remove clothes if the day gets colder or warmer. Cutting down a tree doesn’t take a long time, but it’s hard, sweaty work while you’re doing it.

You may find that your winter jacket is too hot to wear for tree-cutting. After the tree is harvested, you’ll probably cool off quickly and put that jacket right back on to feel cozy again.

You and your companions should wear or bring the following wardrobe items for the cut-your-own tree visit:

  • Durable hiking boots
  • Several pairs of thick gloves for handling the tree
  • Pants and shirts you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Poncho or waterproof jacket for wet or misty days
  • Extra outfit and dry socks in case of mishaps
  • Warm hats, mittens, and scarves if the day is frigid
  • Safety glasses to protect eyes while cutting

At Christmas tree farms, most of the pathways are mowed and groomed between the rows of trees.

During a tree-hunting visit on private land or in a national forest, your hike to find your tree won’t be as easy. You may have to struggle through briars and dense undergrowth to find your ideal tree. You may need to slog through creeks or muddy areas.

On private land or in the national forest, wear old clothes that are rip-proof, water-resistant, and insulated.

If you bring a clean change of clothes, you can afford to get as dirty as possible in the woods. Afterward, you’ll have dry, tidy clothes to wear for a nice meal or shopping.

4. Pick Out the Right Christmas Tree for Your Needs

Measure the space in your house before you head out to the Christmas tree farm for the perfect tree that fits your space.

Before you head out to harvest a fresh tree, carefully measure the height and width of the space where your Christmas tree will be on display.

Subtract around a foot to one-and-a-half feet off the height measurement to account for the height of the tree stand and the ornament that you place on the topmost branch. The final number should give you an accurate measure of the tree you need.

Bring along your tape measure to check out the trees you shop for. Choose a tree that stands around a foot taller than you need, since the tree will lose some height after being cut down.

Be sure to measure the width of the tree, too, so it fits in the space you measured back home.

Study trees from all angles to find a symmetrical tree with few bare spots. If you find a tree you love, but it has a bare spot, you can always hide the imperfection by placing the tree against a wall or in a corner.

Pull on some of the needles of each tree to see if the tree has suffered from drought or too-little watering. Cut-your-own trees should have supple needles that don’t drop easily.

It’s normal to have some dead needles in the innermost branches of evergreen trees.

5. Understand the Christmas Tree Cutting Process

Each cut-your-own tree farm has its own rules for cutting down the Christmas tree you select. For insurance purposes, you may be able to choose your tree but must let the farm staff fell the tree.

At most farms, they provide saws so the customer can have the thrilling experience of cutting their own tree. Many farms offer the option to cut your tree for you (a fee often applies).

The saw provided for your use on a cut-your-own tree farm is usually a handsaw called a bow saw. A bow saw has a rigid metal bow-like structure that you hold in your hand and a straight, toothed saw blade attached between the ends of the bow.

Here are the Steps to Cut Your Christmas Tree:
Cut your Christmas tree about 6″ above the ground. Make sure you cut as horizontally as possible and cut all the way through the trunk – don’t push the tree over!
  1. Clear away debris and loose branches around the bottom of the trunk.
  2. Have someone else hold the tree by the middle of the trunk so it remains upright while you cut.
  3. Make a mark in the trunk with saw teeth or a pen, but be sure the mark is only around six inches above the ground.
  4. Aim the saw teeth so your cut is as horizontal as possible.
  5. Make long, steady cuts back and forth in the trunk where you made your mark.
  6. If your hand and arm get tired, take a momentary break and start again.
  7. When your saw is nearly through the trunk, the tree may start to lean. Don’t be tempted to push the tree over at this point, but continue sawing until you’ve completely severed the tree from its base.

If you cut your tree on private land, you can probably bring a small chainsaw to cut the trunk.

Chainsaws aren’t allowed on national forest land for tree-cutting by individuals, so you’ll need to bring your own bow saw or other hand saw to harvest your Christmas tree.

6. Check for Wildlife

Check your Christmas tree for wildlife before you cut and before you take your tree home!

Evergreen trees are lovely holiday decorations, but they’re also potential habitat for critters of all sorts.

Take a moment to carefully check your tree for spider webs, birds, mice, and other woodland residents before you cut, and before you load the tree and head home.

Commercial tree farms usually have shaking machines that rapidly vibrate the trees after the trees are cut. The fast vibration causes loose needles to drop off the tree, so they don’t end up all over your house.

Shaking also helps detach bugs and other creatures that are residing in the pines. Take advantage of the shaking service to avoid bringing home any unwelcome holiday guests.

If there’s no mechanical shaker on the farm, or you’re harvesting a tree from the woods, vigorously shake the tree yourself. Then, use a nearby stick, small tree bough, or your hat to gently beat on the tree and dislodge any stubborn creatures.

Take care not to break your Christmas tree’s branches as you evict any stubborn residents. Plus, if you’re like me, you’ll want to be careful anyway so you don’t hurt any critters.

7. Transport Your Tree Safely

Many commercial Christmas tree farms offer a tree baling service. This keeps your tree’s branches safe and neatly together. It also makes it easier to transport!

While choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms generally have twine and other tree-transporting materials available, bring your own sturdy twine and bungee cords to be on the safe side.

You don’t want your freshly cut tree to fly off on the highway because the farm ran out of supplies, and your tree wasn’t secured adequately to your vehicle.

Whether you transport your tree on top of your car, in the trunk, or in the bed of a truck, take time to bind the tree with a few loops of twine around the tree body. Evergreens are easier to manage when you reduce the diameter of the branches.

At some Christmas tree farms, tree-baling services are offered. The staff will bind the tree for you either in special wrapping, a bag, or with string. Take advantage of the service if it’s offered.

When loading the tree on or into your vehicle, always move the tree in the direction of the cut end. This technique keeps wide and tender branches from breaking off as you drag or maneuver the tree.

Consider wearing your safety glasses as you position your tree on top of your car. If the tree slips, your eyes are protected from any wayward needles.

Attach the tree to your car with plenty of twine, rope, and bungee-cord reinforcement. Check the security of your knots and attachment points before you drive away. Make sure the tree doesn’t restrict your visibility through the windshield or rear window.

Drive carefully when transporting your tree. Stop a few minutes into your drive home to ensure the tree is secure and not sliding forward or backward. Take the time to reinforce the tree’s attachment points if necessary.

8. Care for Your Christmas Tree Throughout the Season

Let your freshly cut Christmas tree become accustomed to life at your place by keeping the tree in a bucket of water in an unheated garage or basement for a day or so.

Evergreens can be stressed by the move from a frosty tree row to a dry, heated home. A stressed-out tree drops needles fast and may dry out much quicker than a tree that has the chance to acclimate to a new environment.

As soon as your Christmas tree’s trunk was cut, the wound began hardening and closing the channels that take water from the roots to the tree’s foliage.

Before setting your tree in its stand, shave off a fresh inch or so at the cut part of the trunk, using a bow saw or other hand saw.

This action opens up sealed channels, so the tree can take up more water from its base to its branch tips.

Fill a few gallon jugs with water and place the containers in a convenient location, because your tree is going to need hydration.

How Much Water Does Your Christmas Tree Need

Fresh-cut trees can take up a gallon or more of water when first brought indoors!

Check the water in the tree stand at least twice a day, and refill the empty reservoir carefully using your gallon jugs.

Set your tree up in an area where there are no stoves, fireplaces, heating vents, or other heat sources. To be safe, use Christmas lights that feature LED bulbs or other cool-to-the-touch bulbs.

How Long Will Your Freshly Cut Christmas Tree Last?

If you keep your tree well-watered and away from any heat sources, your fresh-cut tree should last at least two to three weeks indoors before the needles begin to drop.

Always turn your tree’s lights off and unplug the light strings before heading to sleep or off to other holiday adventures.

Now, you know what to expect from a cut-your-own Christmas tree outing. Try the invigorating experience for yourself this year, and you may never go back to decorating a pre-cut or artificial tree again.

Show us pictures of your freshly cut Christmas tree in the comments below!


Farm for growing Christmas trees

There are not so many plantations of coniferous plants or natural forests where you can legally buy Christmas trees in Ukraine. The main suppliers are the Western region of the country.

How many fir trees are sold on the territory of Ukraine for the New Year and Christmas holidays? About 1 million pieces - these are the statistics for 2013.

The main feature of recent years has been special control by forestries and law enforcement agencies over the legal felling and sale of spruces and pines on New Year's Eve. According to the new fines adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers, the violator will have to compensate the state for an illegally felled tree from 189up to UAH 1753, which makes poaching in this industry extremely unprofitable. The Christmas tree should also be branded with a special seal at the place of the cut, which is easily controlled by the police at the sales market. All this prevents the possible, to a certain extent, appearance of illegal trees on the market. Nevertheless, the traditions of our parents to decorate a live Christmas tree for the holidays are boldly replacing PVC piece trees.

Time to get into the Christmas tree business?

The idea is to organize a specialized Christmas tree farm for growing New Year's trees for cutting or "on the vine" - in pots (for possible replanting in the garden of future customers). In many European, Scandinavian countries, in the USA, this business is not a novelty, but a family business, passed down from “old to small”.

For people who do not have much capital and who can patiently wait for profit, who have free planting areas in their possessions, this business is just right. Many "promising" customers, often buying our planting material, explain the huge return on investment:

"Today, one-year-old material costs a penny, but in 2-3 years you can make great money!"

To be honest, the benefit is at least 300 and even 1000 percent when growing a larger tree. So, a beautiful blue spruce or fir in a pot with a clod of earth at the age of 5-8 years costs from 400 to 3 thousand hryvnias, while a one-year-old seedling is only from 3 to 7 hryvnias. a piece.

Let's take a look at varieties and types of popular Christmas trees.

- Norman fir (Danish) - Abies nordmanniana , Nordmann fir;

Fir Fraser Abies fraseri 6 , 9002 Fraser fir

Fir is the most popular Christmas tree in Europe. They have good transportability (they last longer without water), as well as excellent external characteristics: harmonious shape; straight branches looking up; thick, soft and fluffy needles with a silvery tint that stay on the tree for a long time. Fir trees are also the most expensive Christmas trees due to their longer growing period.

- Norway spruce ( European, Norwegian ) - Picea abies Norway spruce .
This traditional Christmas tree, familiar to us since childhood, quickly shedding dried needles in a heated house, today is rapidly giving way to more decorative and adapted fir trees.

– Prickly gray spruce (Glauca) Picea pungens glauca , English Blue spruce .
Glauka differs from Norway spruce in its silver-blue needles and strong citrus aroma. Seeds of a blue spruce of two types Are available from our company. We also offer one-year-old seedlings of thorny spruce, and two-year-old seedlings of the very decorative Kaibab spruce, originally from Colorado, USA.

- Pine0024 , English Scots pine .
Pine is no longer used as a Christmas tree in Europe, but we have a particularly popular Christmas tree in many regions. It is an ornamental downy tree with an interesting reddish bark and long needles that stick well to the branches in a warm room. The disadvantage of pine as a Christmas tree is the relative weakness of the branches, which sag even from light decorations. But the main feature is fast intensive growth (annual growth is about 1m.)

All these trees are successfully grown throughout Ukraine.

Seeds, one- or two-year-old seedlings, you can purchase from us.

You can make this business more profitable by allowing customers to choose their own spruce, and also offer services for replanting large trees - then the price of the service will be from 30% of the cost of the tree.

Entrepreneurs who dare to engage in this "special business" will always be held in high esteem by local authorities, environmental organizations. Say why?

40 acres of spruce growing produce enough oxygen to breathe for 18 people.

Even this is something to be proud of!

And that's not all...

I suggest looking at a photo of a promising Christmas tree farm, and also watch the video.

Please contact me to purchase seeds and seedlings, I will always be happy.

Tel.: +38 050 61

Oleksandr Varenitsa, Ukraine.

Ekomalina Company

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9000 And although it's still only November, the Christmas tree buying craze is already starting in North America. But how are they grown in the United States? Farm workers in Jefferson, North Carolina, will cut down about 65,000 Christmas trees this year.

In addition, this farm supplied a 6-meter spruce for the White House this year. There are approximately 1,500 Christmas tree farms in North Carolina covering 35,000 acres that supply 50 million fluffy green beauties to markets every year.

Young trees growing on a farm in West Jefferson, North Carolina.

Inocencio Hernandez had a smoke break while cutting trees at the Omni farm in West Jefferson.

Julio Hernandez cuts another Christmas tree at Omni Farm in West Jefferson.

Hernandez and Rosales walk through the rows of trees in search of a suitable tree to cut down.

The tree is run through a tying machine to prepare it for transport to Omni Farm in West Jefferson.

Workers use a tying machine to prepare trees for transport.

After tying, the trees are placed in a truck for transport to the Omni farm.

Loading Christmas trees.

José Mendoza makes Christmas wreaths, so popular in American homes, from torn branches of Christmas trees.

Numerous Fraser firs (Abies fraseri (Pursh.) Poir.) are hillside Christmas trees at Omni Farm in West Jefferson. This tree is a type of spruce native to the Eastern Mountains in the United States. Fraser fir is a subspecies of balsam fir. For its color and beauty, this tree is very popular as a Christmas tree.

Avraham Plaza carries the Christmas tree to a tractor trailer for shipment to the farm.

Valencius carries a Christmas tree to be loaded onto a tractor trailer.

Gimlin goes through the spruce plantations in search of suitable trees to cut down.

Hernandez is also looking for suitable spruces for felling.

A farm worker using a chainsaw saws off the bottom dry branches of a spruce to give it a marketable appearance.

And now everyone took the Christmas tree together and dragged ...

Christmas trees waiting to be shipped from the farm to stores in North Carolina cities.

Each tree has a Christmas wish tag attached to it.

Trees are placed on a conveyor and loaded onto a trailer for shipment to Jefferson.

A farm worker carries a Christmas tree to the conveyor.

Rows of trees ready to be loaded onto a trailer for sale.

There is a sign hanging on the farm office building, on which it is written that 1 acre of spruce produces enough oxygen to breathe 18 people.

Loading trees onto a trailer to take them to Florida.

And this Christmas tree will also soon decorate someone's house and delight the owners and their children with its Christmas beauty.



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    Christmas tree farms, advantages of Christmas tree farms in America - Proposition

    Christmas trees are grown by thousands of farms in North America. Having visited some of them, Mental Floss journalists found out some secrets of the Christmas tree business.

    1. Christmas tree farms grow not only and not so much spruce, but also pine and fir. And most of all, buyers love fir. Farmers, on the other hand, grow the kind of trees that local natural and climatic conditions allow them to grow. Thus, Oregon holds the championship among all states in terms of growing natural Christmas trees - 7 million trees annually. And the humid climate contributes precisely to the noble fir. Fraser fir grows in the midlands of North Carolina, and Vermont is home to balsam fir.

    At the same time, even 40 years ago, the consumer preferred spruces and Scottish pines. Traders recall that these trees were taller, spindle-shaped, and had more space between the branches, allowing them to be decorated with candles. As for current trends, Michigan Christmas Tree Association director Marsha Gray says growers have been experimenting with exotic species like short-leaved Turkish fir and compact Korean fir in recent years.

    2. The Christmas tree business is a long-term investment. Manufacturers often surprise ordinary citizens when they say that a Christmas tree does not grow from a seed that has fallen from a neighboring tree. The plantation is laid with 3-5-year-old seedlings purchased in special nurseries, according to the scheme of 1.5x1.5 m, that is, about 4250 plants/ha. On a farm, a tree grows for 8-9 years. New plantations of Christmas trees are planted every year in place of cut areas, 30 cm from the stump, which quickly rots.

    Some customers ask farmers if they should add Sprite or aspirin to their tree container to keep the tree green longer. Christmas tree farms answer that this is a myth and that in order to keep the tree green longer, it is necessary that the cut is still fresh when planted and then watered daily.

    3. The tree, like any other crop on the farm, does not grow by itself. Accordingly, Christmas tree farms have work around it all year round. Unless in winter, after cutting down the trees, there is a lull. Work on planting and fertilizing trees begins in March. Harvesting green twigs for wreaths begins in October. December is tree cutting season.

    4. Tapering a tree is really difficult. After all, this stereotypical form of the crown is not always given by nature. It is the result of hard manual work. For 2 months, starting in July, the staff of the spruce farms trims new branches and needles in order to slow down their growth and form a denser crown. Because of this, trees on Christmas tree farms grow to a marketable height of 1.8-2.1 m for almost 10 years, while in nature they can grow in 4 years.

    5. Fraser fir scourge - late blight of the roots, due to which the needles of the trees turn yellow and fall off. Therefore, spruce farmers are forced to apply PPPs and graft Fraser larch onto strong or hard fir (Momi fir), which originates from Japan and has antifungal properties. However, the positive effect of such agricultural practices appears slowly.

    6. Christmas tree farmers are suffering from competition from plastic Christmas trees, which are imported to North America mainly from China. However, the concern for nature declared by buyers of plastic Christmas trees causes only an ironic smile among experts. "A plastic Christmas tree will last 9years, and then it will decompose in nature for 900 years,” they remind, noting that natural Christmas trees can be completely recycled, and that discarded Christmas trees in nature completely decompose. And farmers compare an artificial Christmas tree to an artificial rose for Valentine's Day.

    7. Farmers position natural Christmas trees as the most environmentally friendly. After all, they can be completely returned to nature by remaking them into mulch and introducing them into the soil. Also, spruce farmers remind that spruce plantations protect the soil from erosion, and create an environment for beneficial organisms such as ladybugs, spiders, birds, rabbits and even deer. This performance of spruce farms has been especially reinforced in the past 25 years with the introduction of more insect-friendly technologies on many spruce farms, including the reduction of pesticide use. “We are trying to create a greener environment on Christmas tree farms,” farmers say.

    8. There is also a negative side to the colonization of Christmas tree plantations by insects. The so-called honeydew, the sweet secretions of insects that feed on sap, attracts wasps that sting mercilessly on workers who have been pruning since July. Therefore, as the Christmas tree farmers say, one can often see a picture of workers throwing their tools and fleeing the plantation - first one, and following his example, all the others.

    9. "Harvest" should be carried out in a short time - in a week or two. Indeed, in the sun and wind, a felled tree begins to dry quickly and shed its needles. Therefore, the season for cutting Christmas trees on small Christmas tree farms is a hot time for all members of the farming family. Then everyone cuts the trees with chainsaws, shakes off the dead needles, wraps the Christmas trees in film and carries them to a cool and dark place. Many Christmas tree farms have plots of evergreen trees that are not for sale, and farmers arrange trees in their shade to conserve moisture.

    Farms in the US Northwest that cover hundreds of acres with millions of trees employ hundreds or more lumberjacks. And helicopters are sometimes used to transport cut trees around the farm.


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