It’s that time of year where we “Deck the Halls” and enjoy many outings on a “one-horse open sleigh.” If you look around in many homes, you’ll see a real “Oh Tannenbaum” in the window, and you might begin to think what a good idea it would be to start a Christmas tree farm.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association’s commissioned consumer survey by Harris Interactive, Americans bought over 26 million live Christmas trees in 2014. Just about every state grows Christmas trees, with Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan and Pennsylvania harvesting 1 million trees per year or more.
In addition to choosing agricultural lenders for an ag farm loan, you’ll also need to know these following tips for starting a Christmas tree farm, courtesy of Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension.
- Locate a knowledgeable source— either another tree farmer, a University’s extension service, etc. As with any ag operation, you’ll need support.
- Choose your land: You’ll want accessible land that’s relatively flat and well drained
- Conduct a soil pH test.
- Choose a tree species to grow. Pick a fir, spruce or pine (or combination) that’s well-suited to growing in your area.
- Plan for spring planting, unless you live in a very temperate part of the country. You’ll need a planter or to do the job by hand. Plant in rows 5-8 feet apart, with 5-8 feet between each tree.
- Plan for weed and pest control.
- Make plans for shearing your trees each spring or during the growing season, depending upon your tree species.
- Decide on your agriculture marketing and sales. You’ll need to advertise and sell your trees in a few years.
As in most ag endeavors, planning and having a reliable source for accurate information is crucial to the success of the operation. Also, don’t forget your funding. AgAmerica Lending is nation’s land loan specialist. We help all ag dreams to come to life with our low interest rates, long amortizations, and outstanding 10-year line of credit.