Are you interested in starting a Christmas tree farm? Do you need a sample Christmas tree farm business plan template? Do you want to profit from the Christmas season? If YES, then I advice you read on.
If you are looking to turn your piece of land into a money-spinner, then you should consider growing Christmas trees. Running a Christmas tree farm requires very little maintenance effort, which makes it ideal for a spare time project. And it can fetch you huge profits for many years to come.
Christmas trees mature in an average of eight years. So, this might not be a good option for you if you are looking at quicker profits or cannot guarantee long-term ownership of the land you have. But if you think eight years isn’t too long, then you can venture into Christmas tree farming.
By planting a portion of your acreage with new trees each year, it will provide a steady income as the trees mature in an average of eight years and are harvested and re-planted. If you love the idea of Christmas tree farming and are ready to kick-start your own business, then read this article to understand the basics of the business and all you need to know before taking a plunge.
How Profitable is Christmas Tree Farming?
The average price of a tree is around $50. And an acre of land can accommodate 200 ready-to-harvest Christmas trees. So, with an acre of land, you can generate $10,000 per harvest. That’s $50,000 with five acres.
And considering the fact that the costs of growing Christmas tree are mostly labor for maintenance, such as shearing the young trees and mowing for weed control, you can keep most of the profits; or even all if you do all the work yourself.
Since it takes up to eight years for most varieties of Christmas trees to grow to the popular harvest height of 5 to 7 feet, a smart way to provide a stable annual income is to start by planting a huge number of trees (an acre can accommodate 1,500 trees with the standard 5′ x 5′ spacing), and then replant one-eighth of this number every year, which is about 200 trees per acre.
What are Different Types of Christmas Trees?
There are several types of Christmas trees, but the three most popular ones are:
- Scotch pine
- Balsam fir
- Douglas fir.
The Scotch pine is the most popular among Christmas tree farmers because it grows quickly in a wide range of climates, and it is more resistant to drought and other adverse weather conditions due to its deep tap roots. However, it requires regular shearing to develop the desirable cone shape of a traditional Christmas tree.
Balsam fir is popular in places with colder winters and cool summers, as it grows well in such places. Since it has a natural cone shape, Balsam fir requires minimal shearing to perfect its shape. Douglas fir grows well in places with mild climatic conditions and well-drained soils. It holds its needles after cutting and, like Balsam fir, naturally has a cone shape, so it requires minimal shearing to give it a perfect Christmas tree shape.
How are Christmas Trees Planted?
As a Christmas tree grower, you have two options. First, you can purchase the seeds and plant them yourself in a nursery. You will need to nurture them as they develop into seedlings over the next two years, after which you can transplant them to the farm proper.
The second option—and usually the better—is to purchase the seedlings from wholesale growers and plant them on your prepared farm. This option eliminates the need to nurture the plants from the seed stage, which takes and whopping two years!
The seedlings will be planted on a 5′ x 5′ grid to allow plenty of room for sunlight to reach the young trees, so they can grow healthily and evenly.
One of the upsides of Christmas tree farming is the little amount of work required. Rarely will you do much for the first four years. But after this time, you will need to prune the trees annually to help them bush out for the fuller shape that buyers prefer. And you will need to shear the trees at regular intervals, too, depending on whether your trees have a natural cone shape or not.
How Exactly Do Growers or Buyers Make Money from Christmas Trees?
Many growers or Christmas tree buyers make a lot of money from selling greens, wreaths, and garlands. In fact, growers make more selling these items than from their cut trees. Some wreaths could be as expensive as $100, and that’s the cost of about 2 whole trees. And one cut tree can produce more 3 wreaths or more.
Growers living near towns and cities who can sell their trees or wreaths directly to customers earn the biggest profits. For other growers, collaborating with organizations such as Rotary that can help them sell their trees makes much sense because the prices are higher than selling to wholesalers.
What’s the Potential for Christmas Tree Farming?
The market for live Christmas trees is growing. Before now, plastic artificial trees were much more popular. But the buying public is now turning away from artificial trees in favor of the “natural, real thing.” Market research reveals that sales of artificial Christmas trees peaked in 2007, and have been declining since then. That’s why the number of Christmas tree farms is growing steadily every year.
As you can see, growing Christmas trees on a farm can be very profitable, since startup and maintenance costs are low, and demand is high. And in addition to making a good income, you will be providing erosion control and helping to improve the environment. So, Christmas tree farming is a green business that can be a win-win for you and our planet.