Buying an existing Christmas tree farm, creating alternate revenue streams.

Hello rob here from the flanagan Homestead it’s a fun day for me well First of all it’s my 29th anniversary my Wife is out taking video for the This video right now but uh my new Friends todd and jenny uh they viewed Some of the christmas tree videos and Reached out to me and wanted to come and Talk to me and as i found out that they Actually Bought a christmas tree farm in the town That my wife and i first lived in when We first got married and i believe the First christmas tree that i ever bought With my wife was off of this tree farm And they purchased it uh two years ago a Year ago A year ago so i’ve done a lot of videos On how to plant trees grow trees and how I started my christmas tree farm this is Going to be About buying an existing christmas tree Farm and you can see we are standing on Their property they also do an airbnb Campground we’ll talk a little bit about That you can tell they have a beautiful Piece of property i’ve my wife and i Have enjoyed wandering around and Visiting with them so Todd todd and jenny cusper Christmas creek christmas tree farm Okay so the first question i had i asked You earlier but um did you go looking to Buy a christmas tree farm or were just

Looking for property and it had a Christmas tree farm so tell us the story Gonna tell a story Well i uh I was looking for a project i enjoy Working with my hands and growing stuff And I missed having property we owned Property in the past And uh so yeah i found this on zillow And it was really beautiful and a lot of It’s 34 acres so there’s a lot of land a Lot of a lot of projects A lot of projects a lot of projects We mentioned that earlier you’ll never Not have something to do Never Okay so You fell in love with the property first And it has a christmas tree farm Which I’m assuming at the cost of this land You probably need a little income from The christmas tree farm worked out that Way yeah so Going from someone that’s never had a Christmas tree farm to You you’re not good gradually growing Into it like i have a one year tree then A two year tree and i’m learning you Have new plantings you have harvestable Trees you have shearing you have Everything to do Tell me what was a surprise for you what

Went as expected What wears you out what you enjoy just Give us some of that So Buying an existing piece of property That has a tree farm this farm has been In business since 1983 so it has got a Long long history Um it’s it’s got a Huge following everybody loves christmas Creek tree farm so When we came upon it it was like oh this Is amazing But Also over time it means there’s a lot of Wear and tear on the farm and there’s a Lot to do so we’ve been playing catch-up Over the years And so that was probably Our biggest surprise moving in was How much Fixing we had to do But the trees were doing great even After The big heat we had last june that Damaged a lot of the babies and we had To recover from that but they are Responding well and So we’ve been able to Actually come into it pretty easily and Thanks to rob’s videos we’ve learned so Much about tree farming so that’s helped And we’re really appreciative of those Videos

So We watched a lot of youtube to learn how To Catch up to where we needed to be when You walk into buying a tree farm Okay so Obviously it’s a significant amount of Work for you but you also have hired a Crew that does a lot of it how much How much of it would you say you’re Doing yourself the actual tree work how Much is cruise hired in And how does I’d say the crews probably do 95 percent Of the work of the tree work If i didn’t work My day job i’d probably spend more time On the trees but i just don’t have time Between Day job and all the projects here Yeah it helps a lot having those guys in Here yeah they’re fast and they’re Really good And the crew had been working this far For years is that correct before so you Know i’ll say you’re fortunate in that Because i know people myself included That have been looking for a crew And To help out as i’m getting older uh And it’s hard to find people that know How to work christmas trees so uh yeah You know keep them Keep keep a hold of them if you can i

Try to bring donuts every week so when They’re here so that seems to keep them Happy Whatever keeps them happy that’s good Um Anything else about the christmas tree So what if somebody was looking because I know there’s people out there actually Looking to buy a christmas tree farm you Bought a piece of property that had a Christmas tree farm What would you tell people to look for Or be aware of if If there’s people out there that want to Buy a christmas tree farm I think knowing the farm’s history and Detailed history of how they’ve planted Uh the types of trees they’ve planted What has done well for them and what Hasn’t Because as we talk so much in the tree Industry is How the soil produces you know That’s everything for trees is how their Soil is what kind do they have all the Right The amount right amount of rainfall um Those kinds of conditions so What the How steep or Level the soil is how fast it drains all Of those things are really important so If you were buying a piece of land is it Going to be productive

Well soil testing’s number one Um but knowing having a solid history of How well the trees have grown here has Been Really helpful and knowing that we were Going to continue to hopefully be Successful in years to come yeah and We’re fortunate that it’s been around so Long We have people coming back every year For 20 30 years yeah your customer base is Already built up so that’s good yeah Um we haven’t covered this yet how many Acres total on the property and how many Are in trees That’s 34 acres total and we have about 20 acres of trees so that’s about i Think 22 000 20 to 22 000 trees and what percentage Of i know nobles are there’s a lot Doug’s you have nordman’s what’s your Percentages doug’s yeah what’s your Percentage of those of trees Approximately uh probably 75 noble And then 10 Ten percent of uh Well the dogs and the nordman’s and just A small fraction of the brands yeah but Primarily it’s it’s Like this Okay so when you bought it

You want an income right away but i’m Assuming most of the harvestable trees Were gone when you bought it and so tell Us the story Yeah So that is you know when i said you know Knowing the farm’s history we were Fortunate enough that the family was Very very open with how things have gone Here so we knew very well what the History was And as Aging Individuals that started the farm as They got older and their kids wanted to Go and do other things And it became harder so they had Intended to sell the farm for Development So they stopped planting for a period of Five years which is Which is hard to recover from Um but then they changed their mind and Decided we’ll keep growing trees so they Replanted and that was about seven years Ago so we are we are just coming up out We’re in that hole in that in between Where the marketable trees have all been Sold and the trees that were planted Seven years ago are just now coming into A marketable size so It’s just going to have more and more Over the next couple years as They continue to grow up

Good And you know as the trees get bigger They’re more work each tree right okay Good just just to make sure That crew will be here more okay Anything else you’d like to add about Buying a christmas tree farm and your Experience that’s something i’ve never Done an existing creek tree farm You’ve got it did you get a lot of Equipment with it or did you pick up Equipment as you went The farm came with the truck and a Couple tractors a bailing machine some Some tools we bought a couple Side-by-sides That they help out a lot And then lots of small stuff that’s Part of the fun right yeah buy more Tools gotta have more Toys yeah okay what has been is your one Year in now basically almost one year so What’s been the best moment and the Worst moment of buying a christmas tree Ah Gosh probably uh The best is Enjoying the river well there’s the River it’s beautiful um i was gonna say Opening day this last year when it was Our first day And uh todd and i Had our had all of our um crew stand you Know ready to go for the day coco’s

Going coffee’s going fire’s going Everybody’s here we’re all excited and We got to drive up and open the gate for That first time The cars are lined up all the way to the Freeway and we’re like this is it’s just So exciting and you gotta welcome in Those first Those first cars and it was that was Exciting and everybody’s just So happy and so happy it’s open so happy It’s not gonna become houses um all of Those things right so it’s just exciting It’s fun Yeah bring joy to everybody i agree That’s one of the best parts about being A christmas tree farmer is you get to be Part of everybody’s christmas You know and just share smiles and Stories and i have a lot of friends that I see once a year now yeah and you know They’re busy they’re going away but they Come they get a treat for me i get to Say hi i get to be part of their Christmas and it’s just and it’s just Joy yeah it’s just Solid Sheer joy and the families that come in And they’re like we’ve been coming here Since i was a baby and now my friend my Parents are bringing Us and i’m bringing my kids and there It’s just it’s just so special to be Able to be a part of that and i think

Also One other thing i want to think about Was when we came to look at this place And we have younger kids and we just Thought this would be such an experience For them Um but also the sad Part about tree farms Closing because aging farmers don’t want To continue their kids don’t want to Continue it and It’s Easier to sell it to For housing development and that’s just Happening over and over and over and This place was just too special to let That happen So We we fought hard Okay so you’ve had your good moment what Has been really hard about buying a Christmas tree farm Uh the work is overwhelming sometimes Because i work all day and then i come Here and i work until eight sometimes Nine o’clock at night And so that’s hard it’s it’s nice that We have the the tree crude help out But even With their help there’s still so much There’s always stuff to do some Something to be fixed a leaking roof Broken a lot of heater yeah Yeah

Okay we’re gonna swing to the other part Of your property you airbnb you have a Beautiful campground down here and a Community space uh Just share a little bit of the story on What that is and obviously the airbnb This river is probably a Feature point of that so Look here’s some kids so here comes jack And Jack and corey jack what’s the hardest Part about living on a christmas tree Farm uh probably Having you guys Working a lot and not really spending Time with us Well you can join us in the work yeah i Thought you were going out in the field And uh joining in on the weeding Yeah yeah i heard you’re a pretty good Worker that’s that’s what your parents Are you get out there and work hard That’s good Dad’s gonna raise you up right and be a Good worker yeah Um so yes we have a well because we have Facilities for the tree season we have a Rustic cabin it’s got a kitchen in it And then we have a bathroom building And then we have a 20 by 60 foot tent With picnic tables inside so those Those three structures serve us during The tree season Um and it just works out we have this

Beautiful park area around it that works As a great group campsite so we have Campers pretty much every weekend from The beginning of may through the end of September and they rent the whole space They get the river they get the cabin The bathroom the shower And We’ve had groups as small as eight People and as big as 50. so Um It’s it’s been a just that’s another big Joy is just seeing the joy on these Campers faces i mean it’s it’s an Absolute delight to just come down and Meet them and they walk in they’re like Wow this is so cool and they’re so Excited and Um Yeah and they just have a great time We’ll sometimes pop in and you know Clean the bathroom real quick or take Garbages and they’re just last night we Came down to check on him and they they Literally they were all yelling thank You as we were driving away and then They stood up and clapped and It was so they were so nice and so Friendly and Having such a great time and So One thing i appreciate both of your Attitudes and it’s similar to mine Actually i’ve really enjoyed talking to

You guys is that You know i have a christmas tree farm Because i want to make money with it But i want to bring joy in the christmas Tree i want people to have a good Experience we work hard to make a good Experience and You’ve talked less about making money on Your airbnb or on your trees and more About people coming out and being happy And i think that perspective is really Good I mean you still want to make money if You’re losing money you’re going to lose The farm right but If it’s not all about money then the Work And the time out there isn’t as hard When it’s about and then When you have the attitude that you have Or appear to have it does make for a Better environment people Can want to continue coming out and that That’s what we need in the christmas Tree industry actually just more joy Just Make it easier Don’t make it so hard um And and remember what you’re doing it For like said I mean obviously if we don’t make money We don’t have a farm anymore but That’s the sad truth um but it was Always more about um well what it was

Going to do for our family Um You know and and the opportunities it Was going to give for our kids but also Just what a cool experience to be able To just give joy to people And so easily you know just You just provide the vessel to give joy So All right so Thank you todd and jenny for letting us Come out to christmas creek christmas Tree farm in north bend washington if You want to visit them if you want to Buy a tree if you want to airbnb their Campground this is a beautiful place and Friendly people and it is My 29th anniversary here’s hot mama with Me she doesn’t normally want to be on Camera but my wife is here and this is The towel we lived in when we first got Married 29 years ago we now live three Hours to the south of here But and again as always thanks for Joining me on the flanigan homestead Where christmas trees are my business Teaching and cleaning horticulture is my Job and outdoor projects are my passion Be blessed everyone

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