How long does the average christmas tree grow before it is sold


How do Christmas Trees Grow?

We did this interview back in 2016, but it is still relevant! We've added the new "How do Christmas Trees Grow?" video for more fun learning!

Ben Butler grew up living and working on his family farm, Butler's Orchard. He graduated the University of Maryland in 2010 with a degree in Horticulture and Crop Production. Now Ben works full time on his family farm as the Farm and Finance Manager where he is responsible for all crop production activities. Ben truly believes farming and being part of Butler's Orchard is his purpose in life and is committed to the business to the highest degree!

We interviewed him about his farm and to find out: How do Christmas trees grow?

Tell us about your farm and your family (What do you do on the farm when it is not Christmas season?)

Butler's Orchard is a 300 acre pick-your own family farm with a variety of agritainment activities offered throughout the year. We grow small fruit, tree fruit, Christmas trees and vegetables and offer school tours, birthday parties, private events, a large fall festival and much more. We also have a farm market where we sell local produce and other local items like honey, jams, and pies just to name a few.

 

Photo courtesy of Butler's Orchard. All rights reserved.

The farm began in  1950 when my grandparents purchased the original land with peaches being grown. From there, they pioneered the "pick-your-own" concept and began growing strawberries along with other crops for neighbors and friends to come pick. The second generation and current owners have taken the farm to another level offering more activities and family fun than ever before. The third generation includes my brother, sister and myself and we hold the current positions of General Manager, Purchasing Manager, and Farm & Finance Manager, respectively.  There are currently seven "Butlers" who work in the company on a daily basis. We're proud to say we are a family business who work well together and plan to keep it that way as a transition plan is in effect to move the third generation into ownership. We work hard throughout the growing season and thoroughly enjoy our slower winter months which give us time to travel, relax, and plan for the season ahead.   

What does it take to grow a Christmas tree?

It takes a lot! We try to allocate 40-45 acres to our Christmas Tree Production (which is tough since we are short on land). Growing a tree has many similarities to growing other crops. Before planting, it is our goal to eliminate all tough to manage perennial weeds, adjust the pH to our target range (depending on the tree species), and establish ideal soil fertility for seedlings. This all needs to be done a year (or years) in advance. Grass is planted in the fall, and the trees get planted in early spring. From there, it takes about 6-8 years for the trees to grow to a marketable height. During this time we monitor for weeds, fertility issues, and pests and as an IPM (Integrated pest management) farm, we take control measures only when needed.   

I heard a rumor that you have to shape a Christmas tree? Do you mean that the spirit of Christmas doesn’t just magically make it grow in a perfect triangle shape? (Christmas trees take a lot of love!)

Trees do take a lot of love! Once the trees reach about 3'-4' in height, we begin a process called "shearing." After the trees grow in the spring and their new growth begins to harden off (usually July/August) our crews go through the trees one at a time and help guide the shape of the tree using a very long and sharp knife. The years of shearing end up giving the trees a beautiful iconic Christmas look when they have reached full height.  Some varieties require more or less shearing because of  specific growth habits.  

What are the most popular varieties Christmas trees in your area? What are the major differences?

The most popular varieties of Christmas tree in our area are Douglas Fir, Canaan Fir, and Fraser Fir. Douglas Fir have a traditional cone-shaped look, with good needle retention and a moderate fragrance. Canaan firs and Frasers are very similar. Both have a more open and natural look. Their needle retention is excellent and Frasers have a slightly stronger fragrance than Canaan. 

 

Photo courtesy of Butler's Orchard. All rights reserved.

Why should people buy a real tree?

There are endless reasons folks should buy a real tree. My biggest reason is because of the experience. Whether you're with your family, or a group of friends, an outing to choose and cut your own tree is unlike any other. Additionally, they smell amazing! And burning a Christmas tree smell-a-like candle just isn't the same. Purchasing a locally grown, real Christmas tree supports local farmers such as myself, along with our employees who are generally young people learning the fundamentals of work ethic.

I understand the draw to a fake tree; you can use it for several years, the needles don't leave a mess, etc. However, most artificial trees are made from nonrenewable plastics and most have to make the trip all the way from China. Meanwhile, our trees are providing oxygen, storing carbon, creating habitat for wildlife, and when it is cut down, we'll plant another in its place. Also, they're recyclable! Check your local services for tree pick-up or where to take your tree to be recycled into mulch or compost.

Do you have any tips for cutting down a tree? What should I look for when I pick out my Christmas tree?

Be sure the tree isn't too big for your house. When out in the field, trees can seem smaller than they actually are. Ask for us to do a quick measure before cutting it down if you're not sure. Take a look inside the tree at the trunk itself. Be sure that there isn't a big curve in the trunk, or even worse, a double trunk. These trees generally won't stand up straight or even fit in the stand. Lastly, make sure it's outer needles aren't yellowing or falling off already. It's been a very dry fall, putting some trees at risk to dropping their needles early. Note that trees grow new needles every year, so expect some needles on the interior of the tree to already have dropped. 

 

Photo courtesy of Butler's Orchard. All rights reserved.

Ok – I might get you in trouble here, but if you had to pick – multi-colored lights or white lights?

Both win! I think white for the traditionalist, and colored for the more...well colorful type! Can't go wrong. 

Anything else you want to share? Does you have a family tradition around decorating Christmas trees?

Our favorite tradition is to have mini trees (2'-3') in the kids' rooms! Growing up, I loved falling asleep to the smell of a fresh Christmas Tree and the soft glow of the colored lights. I look forward to doing the same for my kids!

 

A BIG thank you to Ben Butler of Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, Maryland for helping us with this article. I hope this inspires everyone to get out there and support their local farmers by getting a fresh Christmas tree!

Read more about tree farming: The Tree Farmer

Follow Butler’s Orchard on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Visit Butler’s Orchard. 

ALL images, including cover image, used with permission from Butler's Orchard. All rights reserved. 

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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10/16/2022 03:08 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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10/16/2022 05:48 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!

Author

How many years does a tree grow to decorate the holidays for a couple of days?

06.01.2016 / 15:01

Society

“A Christmas tree was born in the forest...” – before the New Year, the forestries of the Minsk region alone sold more than 41,000 Christmas trees. For coniferous beauties to reach a height of 1.5 m, you have to wait about 10 years. Ten days before the New Year, they are cut down. Then they are taken to Christmas markets. Many of us don't think about0010 how much work it takes to grow a Christmas tree so that it decorates the holiday for just a few days ...

Today, many other options are offered to replace a living New Year tree: from artificial spruce to trees in tubs and do-it-yourself from improvised materials . There is a choice: you can create a New Year's mood, and save the life of spruce, which, by the way, has a number of useful properties, in addition to decorating the holiday.

Christmas tree birth

According to Yevgeny Oleinik on the Minsk-Novosti website, in late January - early February, foresters collect cones in their territories, which are then transported from all regions of the country to the Republican Forest Selection and Seed Center in the village of Shchomyslitsa near Minsk - to the incubator for future trees. About 150 tons of cones are processed here annually.

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In special chambers, the buds are dried until they open, so that the seeds fall out. The seed material is placed in a refrigerator for storage and only in April is transported across Belarus for subsequent planting in forestry nurseries. There, the seeds spend another two weeks in a warm room. When the soil warms up enough and becomes loose, they are strengthened in the sowing department - a kind of manger. Seeds are watered, fertilized. A year later, seedlings grow, which are then planted at intervals of about a meter, so as not to interfere with each other's growth.

SEE PHOTO REPORT: Mysteries of nature: How are spruces born and growing?

What are the beneficial properties of the green beauty?

Paws

Employees of Minskzelenstroy cover flowers and roots of fruit trees with them to protect against rodents, as well as to protect the soil from freezing and erosion. There is a popular belief that good bath brooms are obtained from paws. In fact, they are best made from juniper and fir.

Needles

It used to be chewed to avoid scurvy. Now used in medicines for the treatment of rheumatism, viral infections, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, seizures, optic nerve atrophy, multiple sclerosis.

Once upon a time Belarusian leshozes were brought up to the standards for harvesting needles, from which they made flour rich in carotene and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E). It was added to livestock feed. Now, after the holidays, you can bring your Christmas tree to the Minsk Zoo for connoisseurs of needles - camels.

Cones

Used primarily for the manufacture of therapeutic agents for diseases of the upper respiratory tract and lungs: cough, bronchitis, pneumonia, bronchial asthma, tuberculosis. They will also help with urolithiasis, tonsillitis, SARS, influenza, colds. Substances from spruce cones help to strengthen the immune system.

Wood

Indispensable for the production of paper and pulp, suitable for making furniture, building materials and as firewood.

SEE ALSO : How foresters prepare Christmas trees in the Rechitsa region (video)

How are they?

Practical Berliners use used Christmas trees in thermal power plants instead of coal. Employees of the municipal services of the city believe that this is not only profitable, since coal is saved, but also good for the environment, because Christmas trees are an environmentally friendly product that practically does not emit carbon dioxide during combustion.

In the US, all Christmas trees not sold before the New Year and handed over for recycling will be placed in water bodies to create places where fish can hide and spawn.

And in St. Petersburg, citizens who have served Christmas trees can be handed over in special places, and activists of the environmental movement "Garbage. More. No" will send them to bison.

Author:

Zialeny partal

Photographer:

Open internet sources

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How the Christmas tree grows - Articles

Content:

  • Manufacturing companies
  • Sale of Christmas tree seeds
  • Growing tree seedlings from seeds up to 2-3 years
  • Growing a Christmas tree until it is sold at the age of 7-12 years
  • Preparation for felling, transportation of a live tree
  • What trees can be bought for the New Year

Danish trees

In many countries, it is considered natural and right to put a live Christmas tree on the New Year, and growing Christmas trees is a respected, environmentally friendly and profitable business, since the Christmas tree is a renewable resource that requires minimal consumption of electricity, and, accordingly, oil and gas. You can read more about this in our article “What is better a live Christmas tree or an artificial one”. In our country, public opinion on this matter is still somewhat different, but we believe that it is time to change this situation.

We would like to convey to our customers as much useful information as possible and reveal some of the non-obvious aspects of the production of live Christmas trees.

Manufacturing companies

All over the world, the Christmas tree business is a fairly developed production, using the latest technical progress and modern, already well-proven technologies. There are three main stages in growing a live Christmas tree: Selling seeds of a live Christmas tree Growing seedlings of a Christmas tree from seeds up to 2-3 years Growing a Christmas tree until it is sold at the age of 7-12 years. Each company, as a rule, specializes in only one of the stages of production.

Sale of Christmas tree seeds

Seeds of Christmas trees are harvested in their natural habitat at a specific time period for each tree. The botanical features of trees of the same species, but from different areas, will be slightly different, therefore, after collection, cones with seeds are sorted according to the areas where they were collected. So it becomes possible to determine not only the species, but also the subspecies of the future tree. Tree cones are harvested in a "closed" state, the scales fit tightly to each other, after which they are kept in a dry and sunny place, where they gradually "open" under the influence of light and heat. Seeds are extracted from the cones using rotating drums, after which they are sorted, leaving only the largest ones, of the same size, and sent for sale to companies that grow New Year tree seedlings.

Tree seedlings

Growing tree seedlings from seeds up to 2-3 years

Growing seedlings from seeds, as a rule, is carried out by nurseries with developed greenhouse facilities. For each type of seedlings, their own conditions are selected, the temperature of the air, light, soil moisture. Good care is also very important - timely watering, loosening the earth, fertilizing. In this case, most of the planted seeds germinate. Before the sale of seedlings, usually 2-3 years pass, and all this time it is necessary to carefully control the agro-climatic conditions in which live Christmas trees grow.

Danish tree seedlings

Growing a Christmas tree until it is sold at the age of 7-12 years

Preparing the soil and planting a live Christmas tree

A place for growing live Christmas trees is chosen quite sunny and evenly lit from all sides. Before growing live Christmas trees, the soil must be carefully prepared, for which a number of activities are carried out, here are just a few of them:

  • cleaning the land from debris, stones

  • removal of existing trees, uprooting of stumps

  • the system of drainage and irrigation is being thought out

  • fencing is installed to protect against wild animals

  • Install windscreens if necessary

  • soil cultivation, digging to a considerable depth, application of necessary fertilizers

Landing is carried out using specialized equipment. Seedlings are placed in the ground at a certain distance from each other - so they will be evenly illuminated and will not interfere with each other as they grow. It is also very important to leave room for the passage of heavy equipment, taking into account the future size of the tree.

Caring for a live Christmas tree

In order for the trees to grow healthy and beautiful, they need to be well looked after in nurseries, which means that it is necessary:

  • fertilization

  • mowing the grass

  • pest control

  • disease control

  • rejection of poor quality products

After 2-3 years, spruces, as a rule, reach a size of about 1 meter. After that, work begins on the formation of the crown. 1 or 2 times a year, cut the tree and pinch the top of it. This is how a large number of lateral branches are formed, the crown becomes thick, the tree becomes fluffy. There are certain technologies, the observance of which allows nurseries to quickly achieve a good result, the formation of beautiful, slender and fluffy trees.

Failure to comply with technology can lead to disastrous results. For example, if the tree is cut too often, or cut more branches than necessary, then it will be very thick, but grow too slowly. And if it is not cut enough, then it will give a strong increase, but the distances between new branches will remain large, and the tree will be of poor quality. All these subtleties are well known only by professionals, therefore, people with extensive experience and a good education work in nurseries. So, for example, they try to keep the average annual growth of a Christmas tree within 30 cm, but each case has its own characteristics and only experience can tell you how to do it right. After 7-12 years, the trees usually reach a height of 3-3.5 meters. Usually trees that have reached a height of 1.25 cm are already ready for cutting, this is the first size of the Christmas tree that is sent for sale.

Trees in the nursery

Preparation for felling, transportation of a live tree

Before cutting live Christmas trees, all trees are divided into classes:

  • Premium

  • I class

  • II class

To do this, experts go out into the fields and mark the trees with marking tape. Trees are cut with special equipment and packed into a net with a packing machine. We must say that only Premium class Danish Christmas tree is presented in our store.

Tree sorting

Then the trees are sorted again, but by size. It is customary for European manufacturers to measure Christmas trees with a range of 25 cm, and the height is measured not from the cut of the Christmas tree, but from the lower branching. We follow the same pattern in our store. You can buy a tree with a size of 1-1.75 m or 2-2.25 m. There is one nice clarification: as a rule, manufacturers try to hang a tag on a Christmas tree with a height slightly less than its real size, so when you buy a Christmas tree, you can be sure that it will not be lower than the number indicated on the tag, and, most likely, even a little higher.

After the trees are sorted by size, they are stacked on pallets and lightly pressed with a press for easy transportation with a precisely calculated force so as not to crush the branches too much. Then they are loaded into trucks and sent to sales companies, from which you can already buy a Christmas tree wholesale or retail.

Christmas tree transport

Part of low-quality trees remains in the fields, they are not sold to the consumer. The field is cleared of these trees, the stumps are uprooted, and after several years of rest, they are filled with new seedlings. The production of live spruces is very environmentally friendly. All the time, as they grow, huge fields of live Christmas trees improve the ecology of our planet by releasing oxygen.

What kind of trees can I buy for the New Year

In our country you can buy: Russian spruce, Norwegian European spruce, Russian pine, Canadian Pine, Danish spruce (Nordmann Fir), Fraser Fir. The article "Types of New Year's Trees" describes in great detail their botanical features and differences from each other. All these Christmas trees are in our store, and this is the widest range that can be found today in Russia.

What is grown here in Russia, and what is grown abroad

Russian spruce (picea abies) is the most famous Christmas tree in our country, and, of course, it grows here. Many Russian nurseries cultivate this Christmas tree for sale on New Year's Eve. It is very popular due to its inexpensive price and relative ease of cultivation.

Also in the nurseries of our country, you can grow Russian Pine (pinus silvestris), Cedar pine (pinus sibirica) and American blue spruce (Picea pungens). Despite its foreign name and origin, it has been successfully cultivated for many years in many countries outside its natural range, including Russia.

Canadian pine comes to us from Europe. Unfortunately, while very few of our nurseries grow Canadian pine, we met it only once in a single copy, but it is obvious that it can be grown in our conditions.


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