Starting A Christmas Tree Farm

Advice for how to first get started in growing Christmas trees

Our first suggestion is to start with a small planting project of trees that you think you can sell, and see how they do in the first year. Some species may do well in your particular soil moisture and pH, seasonal temperatures and amount of sunshine, but others may struggle or simply die. Best to lose most of a smaller test crop than to lose most of a large first planting. If you have fairly normal growing conditions, then mother nature will tell you what you can normally grow.

Typically, of the species that we sell, these are the most popular tree species sold in Christmas tree lots and at u-cut farms:
Fraser fir
Balsam fir
Canaan Fir
Black Hills Spruce
Colorado Blue Spruce
Douglas Fir
Concolor Fir
White Pine

Our full list of species is available on our Evergreen Tree Buyers Guide

This list is by no means canonical, but it is a good place to start discovering other species [such as Noble Fir or Engelmann Spruce, species which we do not sell]. Keep in mind that specific species of evergreens are susceptible to specific pests and diseases, but these will quite often will attack just one species while leaving another untouched. A vulnerability in one species is likely nonexistent in a very different species. So planting multiple species now is a hedge against expensive and painful lessons a few years down the road.

An email discussion with a customer about starting a Christmas tree farm, chock full of advice

Regarding how close to plant them, you need to give each tree enough room that they will not touch each other all the way through to harvest time. Trees which grow too closely together will develop voids in their foliage where competition for sunlight makes photosynthesis difficult. You should also consider that you may need to drive a truck or a tractor through the area, so planting wide enough to allow equipment through is also important. Our ballpark would be 7-8 feet between trees being grown for cut Christmas trees, and perhaps 15 feet between every other row