Talley can be reached at talleycu@anr.msu.edu or 231-873-2129, and DeDecker at dedecke5@msu.edu or 989-734-2168. Washington State University recommends you invest in a backpack sprayer, shearing knife, planting shovel and hand pruner. Their usage is determined by time-bound practices and rituals, which can play a big part in consumer behaviour.

The Christmas tree is a classic example of a product that the vast majority of people would not think of buying or using at any other time of year. The soil should be three to four feet deep with good drainage. If this becomes a long-term problem, then consumers may begin to question the value of having a natural tree making a big mess in their home. The cost of seedlings varies, depending on the variety you choose and how many you order, but expect to pay a few dollars per seedling. Christmas tree farmers can realize a profit on relatively small plots of land. Curtis Talley Jr., is an MSU Extension farm management educator, and James DeDecker is an MSU Extension field crops educator. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. It can take six years to grow a six-foot tree and about 1,000 trees can be grown per acre. Copyright © 2010–2020, The Conversation US, Inc. can play a big part in consumer behaviour. Can they earn all they need in a few short weeks and then put their feet up until the next Christmas cycle begins in the autumn? You can use the branches you trim from trees to form fresh garland and wreaths to offer for sale. Presidential Christmas Trees.

Once that date has passed, many items, such as Christmas trees, become almost worthless, because their value and meaning to consumers is entirely symbolic. Unlike vegetables and flowers, Christmas trees don’t require tending every day, so you can raise Christmas trees part time while working another job. At this time of year it is worth reflecting on the huge influence that Christmas can have on production and consumption patterns. After the 10th year, you can harvest one-eighth of your trees each year. Check out the MSU Fruit, Vegetable, and Organic Horticulture Management Certificate Program! How can you know? One of the reasons why Christmas has become so commercially important, is because, compared to many other religious festivals, its date is fixed in the calendar and this allows companies to plan their annual production and develop routines and supply chains to meet a fairly reliable demand. One fixed cost that producers sometimes neglect to address is the owner’s unpaid labor. This information is for educational purposes only. Perhaps you have a retail lot or a choose-and-cut farm, and you plan to charge $50 per tree this coming season. So what do these Christmas-based businesses do after Christmas? You won’t realize any income from the sale of your trees until anywhere from eight to 10 years from planting. Patience and a fair amount of land seem to be the main ingredients of success, and larger Christmas tree farms can benefit from various economies of scale and the latest technology for planting.

As the costs of fuel, fertilizer, labor, etc., have increased, the cost of growing Christmas trees has also increased. Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. Or they might wait until just a few days before Christmas before they buy their tree. Each Christmas tree needs 5 feet of space on all sides, according to Profitable Plants Digest.

On average, trees are grown on about 6 feet by 6 feet of space, or about 1,200 trees per acre, according to a report by Michigan State University. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. If you intend to offer cut-your-own trees, allow extra space for a gathering area, store and visitor parking. Most people want trees that are 5 to 7 feet tall, but allow some trees to grow taller for customers who want a tree for a large room or a room with a high ceiling. Choose varieties of Christmas trees that grow well in your area and that are popular with consumers. Douglas fir timber is one of the best carbon sequestration trees on the planet. Each Christmas tree needs 5 feet of space on all sides, according to Profitable Plants Digest. As a Christmas tree grower, you have the option of selling your trees wholesale to markets, of setting up your own tree stand to sell cut trees in a nearby city or of selling to consumers who come to your property to cut their own trees. Talk with Christmas tree markets in the area to learn which trees local consumers like best. Are these prices profitable for you, and if so, by how much? One appeal of Christmas tree farms to growers is that it can be a profitable way to use low quality farmland, though this trend is changing within the industry. You can then compare your costs for each expenditure category to an industry benchmark, such as a university cost of production report. Knowing cost of production and break-even sales price is one key to keeping Christmas tree producers in business. Profitable Plants Digest: How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm, Washington State University Small Farms Team: An Introduction to Growing Christmas Trees, Better Homes and Gardens: Christmas Tree Types. Christmas tree grower and Farm Consultancy Group member Harry Edwards offers his tips: Christmas trees will not yield well on wet soil. Discusses the tree growing cycle, tasks and time requirements, pertinent laws and regulations, and costs, returns, and taxes. Most households will only buy one tree per year. In addition to the cost of the land, you’ll need funds to buy seedlings to plant. Trees take eight to 10 years to mature, and most farmers replant one-eighth of their acreage with new trees each year. Senior Lecturer in Marketing, University of Huddersfield. Tradition dictates that the tree should not be put up and decorated more than a few weeks before Christmas and should then be taken down by the twelfth day of Christmas, January 5.

Because of the slim profit margins in Christmas tree production, it is important that growers understand their per tree costs and potential revenue associated with all of their enterprises – cut trees, wreaths, garland, live trees – to determine break-even prices and potential profit for each tree.

Armed with this break-even price information, one can determine that a wholesale price of $20 per tree, as in the example above, is just breaking even.

This would make the window of sales opportunity even narrower than it is now.

Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Includes how to evaluate risk and potential for return. These studies are intended to help growers understand their cost of production and selling price so they can make appropriate management decisions that are critical to remaining competitive. This story was originally printed in the Michigan Farmer Magazine. This article was published by Michigan State University Extension.

Just one 50 year old tree sequesters 17 pounds of carbon each year and a 5 acre Crop Circle Douglas Fir tree plantation captures 255,000 pounds or 127 tons of carbon a year offsetting the carbon footprint of 50 pickup trucks. They should be able to turn a healthy profit, provided they are able to harvest all their trees and distribute them to their retailers on time. But there does not appear to be much risk of Christmas being cancelled, going out of fashion, or its date being changed any time soon.

If your costs are in line with the benchmark, it is an indication that you are at least on par with the industry standard. For example, if total production and fixed costs per acre are $18,330 over a nine-year production cycle and 900 trees per acre will be sold, the breakeven price per tree equals $18,330 divided by 900 trees, or $20 per tree. May 1, 2014. Christmas tree farms can turn a profit in as little as six years, and though some overhead in equipment and labor does exist Christmas tree production requires only small amounts of up-front capital. On the other hand, the suggested retail plan – selling trees for $50 – would net $30 profit per tree. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). According to National Christmas Tree Association, the average pricing of those 200 trees per acre range from $8,000 to $15,000. While there, you can also find custom machine and work rate estimates, current land values and rental rates. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. Any product that is regarded as essential to performing a ritual (especially one as widely shared as Christmas) has a big advantage in the marketplace. The prospect of not having to work all year round may sound attractive, but is it viable and what are the downsides? Allowing for access roads to tend the trees, you can expect to plant about 1500 trees per acre. Planting sums a total of approximately 200 trees per acre. A guide for the prospective and novice Christmas tree grower. The tree growers will keep only a fraction of this revenue, unless they sell direct to consumers. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. You can do the work of planting, weeding and shaping the trees yourself or add the cost of hired labor into your balance sheet. With that extra stress and anxiety, perhaps the growers and suppliers will deserve the best part of the new year to get over it.

While there is not much prospect of the UK market growing substantially (unless we can all be persuaded to buy two or three at a time), it is at least fairly immune to fashion cycles and not likely to decline or disappear either. Other start-up costs include soil tests and the cost of basic equipment. Of course, bad weather, low consumer confidence and variation in the timing of other events, such as the newly-imported tradition of Black Friday, can affect Christmas-related shopping from year to year. You may decide to grow some trees for retail and some for wholesale.

Most people aren’t thinking about Christmas trees at this time of the year, but Christmas tree producers work year round to ensure a good supply of quality trees at the end of each year. In 1856 Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States, was … Christians may worry that their sacred celebration has been appropriated for commercial gain, but the fact is that a very wide range of businesses’ goods and services depend on Christmas and must be consumed or experienced by December 25. Using these tools is an excellent way for Christmas tree producers to develop a deeper understanding of their production costs, which is a fundamental step toward managing risk and maximizing profit. Imagine that you are a wholesale Christmas tree grower, and in July you are offered a contract to sell your trees for $20 each. Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." An acre is ideal for 1,500 trees with a spacing of 5’ x 5’.

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