5 tips for harvesting and keeping a live Christmas tree, 7 reasons small towns are the most patriotic places. Also didnt know theyre treated for bugs. If you find yourself ever shearing trees again, they cut super clean and easy if they're wet. And talk about environmentally friendly! Sounds like a good idea, right? Cheers! A fellow July Christmas joy spreader! 13 December 2017. Dont forget to mention the early years and bottom branching. The notions behind much of the world's traditional Christmas dcor originated in northern Europe, particularly Germany, where enduring images and tales from the mid-19th century still ensure sugarplums are dancing through our heads and that our Christmas trees are conical. 40 volunteers planted over 4,000 Christmas tree seedlings, mostly Canaan fir trees! Keep the seedlings moist, then hand plant using a shovel or auger to dig the hole. Good times.

Kinda sad to me that it takes 6 whole years only to be cut down, displayed for a month, and then tossed in the garbage. Special Offer on Antivirus Software From HowStuffWorks and TotalAV Security. My first job was also trimming trees at the farm. And, best of all, the trees are a renewable resource when one is cut, a new one is planted in its place. The most common types of Christmas trees are Douglas fir, Canaan fir, Fraser fir and several species of spruce or pine. Laurie L. Dove Updated: Dec 10, 2020. Don't twist or screw a seedling down into the hole because tangled or twisted roots will kill the tree. If you have just a few trees, you can shear by hand. 7AM the tree truck would show up the morning after Thanksgiving and we would unload 300+ trees in the cold here in Peabody, MA (just north of Boston).

All https://www.barchart.com/solutions/ is provided by Barchart Solutions. If you don't already own a good tractor/mower, invest in one for mowing between tree rows. For controlling insects and diseases, you can hire an integrated pest management consultant. This tiered arrangement allows the trees to shake off heavy snowfall, and the wide spaces between branches let the winds whip through without causing massive damage. I never had a real tree after that. Putting the trees inside the shaker machine was very fun until all the loose needles fly out. Transplants are best for spruce and fir; 2-0 and 3-0 seedlings are best for pine. In making the gift, Batchelder and Lee asked that the Forest Society always maintain a crop in the field, and for more than three decades, that crop has been Christmas trees. Then prepare the field similar to a garden: smooth (no stumps or rocks) and with a low-competition cover crop. A 2-2 rating means it spent two years in a seedbed and two years in a transplant; a 2-0 grew two years in a seedbed. Christmas trees provide wildlife habitat and soil stability, and 1 acre of Christmas trees provides the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people. "Our first planting actually looks like Christmas trees now.". My uncle owns a christmas tree farm! I love it. I know they're grown for that purpose, but still. After that, when trees are knee-high, annual shearing begins to produce trees that are full and tapered gracefully from top to bottom. To see all exchange delays and terms of use, please see https://www.barchart.com/solutions/terms. Some were pushing 20+ft and we had to get extension ladders and work our way around those. It's best to cut them when they're full of moisture - as opposed to after the ground freezes - so needles will stay green and supple when they're displayed indoors. Kinda sad that it can take up to 8 years to grow just to have it up for a month or so, then you get rid of it. The National Christmas Tree Association also includes a large community of Christmas tree professionals sharing information.

A common problem in hand planting is keeping the tree's roots untangled, so it's helpful to shove the seedling all the way to the bottom of the hole and then lift it back to the proper planting depth. Little spiders hatching and jumping from my tree once in the warmth. However, out of the 630 species of conifers in the world, the majority don't actually grow in a strictly triangular shape, so trimming is a crucial task when growing those specimens meant to become Christmas trees. I miss it so much.

It takes several years to raise a Christmas tree ready for holiday trimming. It can't be done without diligence, but growing Christmas trees on a few acres is a beautiful way to work with nature and maybe even make a buck. Come Christmastime, the trees are harvested which we sell at The Rocks and to wholesale and cut-your-own customers. I cut some at his place and the knife slid right through as clean and pretty as could be; not so much at my farm where we drop irrigate them. Then each take a row and race to see who could finish first. Many a lunch hour spent cleaning and sharpening blades and listening to a crappy half broke radio. We plant seedlings when they are 4 or 5 years old, and tend them for the next 6 to 9 years before they are harvested. Rocks Director Nigel Manley marks growing Christmas trees with flagging tape. The 1,400-acre estate was given to the Forest Society in 1978 by Martha Batchelder and John Lee, two of thegrandchildren of John and Frances Glessner. So, if you cut the apical meristem like this, wont the tree fork? And for a lot of people, it just isn't Christmas without the piney smell of a freshly cut tree. Spruces and firs, on the other hand, are trimmed after buds become visible on new growth, because you prune back to a bud or branchlet. This pruning process must continue every summer until the trees reach a marketable age, which usually takes six to eight years. The first year after planting, remove trees' double tops and extremely misshapen branches. We also trimmed every summer so it only took the green tips off. Gloves are necessary. That seems like a low yearly return. We wore shin guards but still stabbed the back of our calf with the point fairly often. For related content and insights from industry experts, sign up for Successful Farming newsletters. But maybe more people should go for the real thing. Im fascinated. I never knew how many spiders lived in the trees until I got an untreated one. Stick a few seedlings in the ground and watch them grow. It was one of my favorite jobs I've ever had. All Rights Reserved. "Join your state or regional tree association for a wealth of experienced-based knowledge from other tree farmers." Although these trees are grown in the spirit of Christmas, they don't magically, or genetically, aspire to a perfectly peaked shape. "After the trees grow in the spring and their new growth begins to harden off, 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.". For example, Fraser fir grows best at 3,000- to 5,000-foot elevation on fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 6.8. "I joined the Maryland association even before I had a tree in the ground," says Fred Clark, a construction engineer, who three years ago began planting 200 trees a year on his acreage. Most people who buy real Christmas trees select precut versions sold at retail lots, garden centers and chain stores. Nothing like being 16 and power lifting a 10 foot balsam onto the roof of a suburban while trying to look cool for the customer's daughter. Download the Forest Society Mobile App, powered by OuterSpatial. Thank you, How much bigger is your right arm than your left arm, Press J to jump to the feed. Source: hubby who mowed and trimmed at a tree farm. Thats where those trees are young and only 2 feet tall. No Christmas tree species can stand wet feet. The Rocks is a working Christmas tree farm, which requires extensive upkeep to manage. In growing Christmas trees, The Rocks and the Forest Society are helping to preserve open space, provide wildlife habitat, create local jobs, and help countless people get into the holiday spirit each year! At The Rocks, we've been growing Christmas trees for over 35 years as part of our land conservation and management efforts. "Once the trees reach about 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 meters) in height, we begin a process called 'shearing,'" said Ben Butler, farm and finance manager of Butler's Orchard in Germantown, Maryland, in an interview with the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. It takes about 6-8 years to grow a tree from a seedling, and depending on the variety, you do this several times throughout the life cycle of the tree. Youre like Mr Christmas Tree to me now. My brother and I used to run one of the lots he'd set up near where we lived. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Real Christmas trees provide homes for wild birds and animals, while storing carbon and generating oxygen. Have a look at the tree shearing process in this video from Glove Hollow Christmas Tree Farm in Plymouth, New Hampshire: So why do Christmas celebrants demand pyramidal trees during the holidays? Have your soil tested before you plant and make adjustments based on site and species. In that part of the world, evergreen trees are pyramid-shaped for good reason: Each needle-leaf layer has a better opportunity to gather sunlight for photosynthesis if the sun isn't blocked by wide top layers. Pines should be sheared when needles on the new growth are 3/4 to 1 inch long. I did this in high school. Information is provided 'as is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice. He trucked the trees to us every year). Even after they're harvested and used as a fragrant symbol of the holidays, cut trees will decompose quickly if they're chipped and used as mulch. I used to sell Christmas trees in my father's used car lot when i was a kid and to this day are the fondest memories i will ever have, and i got kids lol. Why Do We Decorate With Holly at Christmas? The tree farm I worked on we used the same blades all day, maybe switch them out once. Good days. It's best to have a 5% to 20% slope for good air and water drainage. I guess I've never really thought about how long it takes for them to grow. I really thought they took just idk maybe 8-10 months to grow and came perfect looking naturally. You can definitely do more than just a handful of trees. A good portion were big 10-12+ft trees. A friend of mine grows about 10,000 trees, and he has overhead irrigation set up. Although synthetic Christmas trees don't generally drop needles on the floor or pose a fire danger by drying out, they can't replicate the experience of selecting a real Christmas tree. We helped on the farm a couple of summers and got to visit a couple of winters too (farm was a couple of states away from where we lived.

Forest Society North at The Rocks Campaign, Celebrating Angler Access at the Ammonoosuc River Forest, Something Wild: A spongy moth infestation is plaguing New Hampshire forests, again. Come Christmas, nothing compares to the scent and beauty of a real tree, especially one you have carefully nurtured. During the final month of the year and often, much sooner vast numbers of harvested trees begin their migration indoors, where they are festooned with ribbon, garland, ornaments and lights. "How Do Christmas Trees Get Their Shape?" Are you a woman who owns or manages forest land in New Hampshire? In certain parts of the state, you cant miss the invasive caterpillars munching their way through the forest, just as they did last summer.

The knives are just long bladed knives that you use for a handful of trees, and then clean and resharpen they get gummed up with sap pretty quick and dont cut well. Well, not exactly. Transplants are identified in nursery catalogs by the number of years they've been growing in seed and transplant beds. 2022 Meredith Corporation. There you are with pruning shears bent over all day trimming. If you're waiting a couple years between trimming and whacking off woody growth then I suppose you would dull them pretty quick. Your site will dictate what kinds of trees you can grow. After eight to 14 years, the trees are ready to cut. Working summers at The Rocks include shearing and trimming the trees.

6 to 8 years and the trees are only like 50 or 80 bucks? Most Christmas trees in the U.S. are being raised by part-timers or property owners who grow trees as a sideline. We would start when it was barely light to try and beat the heat. You don't have to be a full-time professional grower. "Don't go it alone," says Wayne Thomas, president of the Maryland Christmas Tree Association. Looking back I'm a little surprised they trusted teenage boys with those knives. My first real job was at a christmas tree farm. Consult with your local Extension and/or tree associations for the best herbicides to use. Successful tree growing starts with quality seedlings, first grown in greenhouses and then put out in transplant beds before final planting in specially prepared fields. For example, pines can grow on south and west slopes; spruces and firs prefer north and east slopes to take advantage of later bud break for less frost damage.

| Only 32 percent of those who opt for the real thing go out and cut their own, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. Please copy/paste the following text to properly cite this HowStuffWorks.com article: Christmas trees don't magically, or genetically, aspire to a perfectly peaked shape but rather take six to eight years of careful pruning. Ive trimmed thousands and thousands trees this way, year after year. I grew up working on a Christmas tree farm. Each of our more than 40,000 trees is hand-pruned each summer for optimal shaping. The most important cultural practice is shaping the Christmas tree by pruning and shearing. You also want to be real aware of hornet nests.

But there are plenty of experts available to help you. We also had a few longer sets for getting taller trees. Here's how to get started. Still, industry data for 2019 said that 82 percent of Americans put up a fake Christmas tree, while only 18 percent put up a real one. By: Laurie L. Dove A variety of evergreens from soft-needled white pine to the majestic Douglas fir can be cultivated in soil not suitable for other crops. Futures: at least 10 minute delayed. The trees were grown in Wisconsin then mostly trucked down to Texas to sell. Once the planting slit or hole is opened, the seedling should be inserted and the slit quickly closed. Staff members spend the summer hard at work getting trees ready for harvest. I'm a man that ONLY has a real Christmas tree in their household, thank you for your work!!