Christmas is a major celebration in Christianity, and Christianity remains the largest religion in Australia, though declining religiosity and diversifying immigration intakes have seen the percentage of the population identifying as Christians in the national census decline from 96.1 percent at the 1901 census, to 52.1 percent in the 2016 census.
Christmas traditions in Australia have many similarities to British, Irish, American, and Canadian traditions, including the traditional Christmas symbols featuring winter iconography and of course Christmas trees and decorations. As a matter of fact, the traditional Christmas tree is central to Christmas decorations, and strings of lights and tinsel are standard.
So, if you are looking towards growing Christmas trees for profit in Australia, you are not going to get it wrong because Christmas is a big holiday and celebration in Australia. You can grow Christmas trees for profit as a side hustle while you keep your job or your business, and if you are interested in growing Christmas trees for profit in Australia, here are simple steps you can follow.
8 Steps on How to Grow Christmas Trees for Profit in Australia
Table of Content
Equip Yourself with the Right Knowledge
If you want to grow Christmas trees in Australia, the first thing that you are expected to do is to equip yourself with the right knowledge. Although the process of growing a Christmas tree is simple, but if you take your time to get the right knowledge, it will make things much easier for you, and you will end up not only growing the trees but also exporting them to other countries of the world.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, “It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of typical height (6 to 7 feet) or as little as 4 years, but the average growing time is 7 years.” The truth is that, if you spend time reading about Christmas trees before you start growing them, you would know about the most suitable bedding for Christmas tree seedlings, the ideal temperature that encourages growth, the ideal time to prune the trees and how to harvest Christmas trees et al.
Conduct Your Feasibility Studies
Since you are going to be investing your hard earned money and looking out to make profits, then you must make it a point of duty to conduct feasibility studies; you need to get first hand information about the business you intend starting if you truly want to make a success out of it.
When conducting feasibility studies, ensure that you gather the information that will help you properly analyze your strength, your weakness, your opportunities, and the threat you stand to face with such a business venture.
Write Your Business Plan
If you are able to effectively conduct a feasibility study, it will make it easier for you to write a good business plan. This is so because most of the facts and statistics that you would need when writing your business plan would have been gathered.
Your business plan should not just be a business document that you have in place when you want to start a business, but a blue print that must guide all your business actions and inactions. Your business plan should contain your goal, how you intend to penetrate the market, your financial projections, and your succession plan if indeed you want to build a business that will outlive you.
Register Your Business and Obtain the Necessary Permits
In Australia, if you choose to grow Christmas trees for profit especially on a small scale, you will not be required to register the business but may be required to obtain some license and permits. So, once you are done with writing your business plan, the next step to take is to choose a business name that you want to operate with and then approach the secretary of your state to register the name.
The nature of the business you are about starting requires that you obtain special permits and a business license before you can be allowed to start. As a matter of fact, your Christmas tree farm will first be inspected by the relevant authorities before you can be issued a license to go into commercial growing of your Christmas trees.
Lease and Prepare a Land for Your Business
You would need an approved land to grow your Christmas trees; a farming land big enough to fit into the picture you have in mind. For example, you would need an acre to be able to cultivate 200 seedlings of Christmas trees hence you must be prepared to acquire that much farming space if indeed you want to make profits from the business.
Please note that your farmland will first be inspected by the zoning department before you can be issued a permit and license to start the commercial farming of Christmas trees. So, ensure that your facility is in tip top shape before initiating the process of obtaining your license and permit.
In preparing your farmland, you might be required to make use of either organic or inorganic fertilizer to help aid the growth of your trees. You can as well construct an irrigation system if you aren’t sure of adequate rainfall for the period.
Get a Supply of Seedlings
Once you are able to prepare your land for growing your own Christmas trees, the next thing for you to do is to get a supply of seedlings of Christmas trees. You can talk to people in your neighborhood to show you where to buy good seedlings, and you can go online to search for sellers of Christmas tree seedlings. You can try Amazon and eBay perhaps you might get people who deal in Christmas tree seedlings there.
You cannot grow Christmas trees for profits without the seedlings except you want to buy fully grown trees which can be very expensive. As a matter of fact, the ongoing expenses for a Christmas tree business include the costs of purchasing seedlings (200 per acre per year). For a ten acre farm, with seedlings priced at $0.35 each, 200 seedlings per acre per year should only cost $700.
In Australia, a large percentage of Christmas tree growers purchase their trees as seedlings or transplants (a seedling that has been transplanted to a new growing bed to encourage root growth) from one of the wholesale growers around the country specializing in conifers.
The cost of seedlings or transplants is low when you consider that the mature trees can be harvested two years sooner than trees are grown from seed. Trees that will be harvested at a height of 5 to 7 feet, which is 90 percent of the Christmas tree market, are planted on a 5′ x 5′ grid to allow plenty of room for sunlight to reach the young trees so growth will be even and not lopsided.
You have the options to select from different types of Christmas trees such as Monterey Pine, Spanish Fir, Noble Fir, Douglas Fir, Scotch Pine Colorado Blue Spruce, and Norway Spruce et al.
Know When and How to Harvest Christmas Trees
Another info that will come in handy for you if you want to grow Christmas trees for profit is to know when to harvest your Christmas trees and how to harvest them. If you miss the timing for harvest, your ability to maximize profits would have been defeated. Most tree varieties are ready to harvest at the popular height of 5 to 7 feet in around eight years.
Giving room for loading areas and access roads every 12 to 15 rows, you can plant about 1,500 trees per acre, using the standard 5′ x 5′ spacing. Will this, you will be guaranteed steady yearly income, a large percentage of Christmas tree growers’ plant or re-plant one-eighth of their acreage every year, which is about 200 trees per acre.
- Market Your Christmas Trees
The only way you can make money from your growing Christmas trees is to market them to those who need them and are willing to pay for it. Your marketing strategy will go a long way to determine the income you will generate so ensure that you go all out to make some noise about your trees despite the fact that it is a seasonal product.
There may be other types of natural and artificial Christmas trees in the market but if you are smart, you can easily sell your product and get people to buy. Just ensure that you have the right branding, packaging, and supply chain system and you will struggle less to make sales.
If you are determined and hardworking, you will sure make huge returns from growing Christmas trees in Australia and your Christmas trees can become the most preferred in and around your city.