Christmas tree farm update: How the changes we made are doing?

Hello rob here from the flanigan Homestead and east fork christmas tree Farms it’s the end of may going into June here real quick and i just want to Do a quick update on the farm for those Of you that follow for the Christmas tree farming What you see behind me here we have About an acre right here there’s another Acre off camera that you can’t see of Fairly new seedlings have been planted These are nobles right here and then you Some of the more established acres are Over over here and then to the left but Anyway uh what we have going on here i For years for barry and i for years have Uh tried to just Do minimal weed control with chemicals Uh we’re not a big fan of chemicals uh We don’t like the expense of it we don’t Like The environmental impact of it so we’ve Tried to stay away from chemicals and we Did band spraying or row spraying and Whatnot but Some of the summers that have been a Little bit hotter than normal lately we Felt like the weeds were really getting In especially around our young trees and They were taking out the moisture more Than our trees were and we had a high Percentage of loss The other thing is you could probably See over here some of the hayfield right

Now this is the grass that was in Between the trees we did not do a kill And put clover or a low growing grass Seed in there which if you’re going to Leave Vegetation in between rows you know make Sure you Do a good kill one time with an Herbicide at least and then you can Plant clover or some low-growing Ground cover in there but This hay field is the grass that we had And so this isn’t as tall as it’s going To get but this is what would be growing Up between our trees and you couldn’t Hardly find a tree in there and so we Would have been at several mowings Already Trying to keep all the grass down But we just got tired of Trees losing out and the grass growing For forever so we decided that we’re Going to try to have bare ground this Year for the first time ever our first Time in many years bare ground and trees So You see a lot of brown in between the Trees that’s the grass that was growing Uh we used a few months ago we used Roundup pro max at i think it was one And a half percent a pretty uh dilute Solution and we sprayed everything and It killed everything pretty good a few Broad leaf were sticking through

And so We came back we got some transline for The broad leaf and we’ve Sprayed some clean tracks we did these Separately Are no we did those two together but we Did this after we had pla sprayed the Roundup powermax pro so Anyway we we sprayed trans line and Clean tracks together we had to time That appropriately we were able to mix Them together our agronomists told us go Ahead and mix those two together and What we did is we sprayed when there was Going to be at least two dry days but we Knew a long rainy spell was coming Because we needed a couple dry days for The Herbicide to stick to the foliage and Get absorbed before it got washed off so Those dry days were there and then the Clean tracks which is a soil sterlin it Needed to have been watered in in a Significant amount of water uh and we’ve Had a ton of water then so it it Washed the sterile down into the ground Appropriately we had dry days so the Herbicide could be in there and right Now we’re I believe a month and a half later Afterwards and and we got a pretty clean Field there are some areas that i missed And i’ll show you that But things are looking good and so let’s

Go take a closer look at the trees Especially our Main trees Noblefurs granfers and nordman furs We’ll go take a look and see where They’re at right now Here’s something interesting to look at A mistake that i made I sprayed the herbicide originally east West not that east west is magic that Just happens to be the route i chose to Go basically because the rows are longer And i didn’t want to turn around as much So i did the original herbicide that way And then when i came back and i did the Soil stirling i went this way And you could see Probably here in the camera we’ve got a Lot of green here i it this did all have A herbicide on it and this was all Killed off but the soil sterling this is A row i missed right here and you can See the rows on either side But there’s not much growth there but This row that i missed we’ve got Thistle and all kinds of little Broadleaf weeds that are trying to come Up and grow up in here so Unfortunately i did not mark my rows Well enough and coming back and forth This way i missed one time Actually there’s a few more rows over Here but i don’t want to tell you how Many rows i missed

These rows here you can see where we’ve Done row spraying in the past or band Spraying because uh there’s the dark Brown dirt that’s really bare because we Had most the weeds down and then in Between it for all the grass was growing That hadn’t been sprayed before We’re killing it off now But In the past it was there So yeah there’s a distinct difference Between What was sprayed last year and what Wasn’t and how This year’s spring affected it So this is the section that was just Behind me in the video this is A thousand uh noble fur plugs that were Planted in the fall we decided to do Fall planting because we think they have A better survival rate if they can Winter in and get established You can see Most of them Are looking really really good we can go Up and down the rows And they’re getting new growth Uh Almost 100 percent Are growing here we’re going to come up On one here in just a second This one didn’t make it actually that’s Not even one that we planted this fall So

Anyway They’re doing well Uh row after row of trees growing So let’s go from these acres Of one and two-year-old trees That we have here And let’s head on into the larger trees That Have been pretty much shopped out we Don’t have too many larger trees left Here we’re coming up on one of the noble Furs that still Got some height about seven feet you can See That they’re just starting To flush out they haven’t really opened Up yet It’s been a really cold wet winter the Soil temperature stayed low for quite a While so the trees were not Taking off quite as early as normal but The new the new growth is starting to Come out but it’s only about an out an Inch or so on the nobles right now Here you can see the nordman furs They’ve flushed out and got growth going Signifi significantly more Than the noble furs they’re definitely Ahead of the nobles So they’re coming A new growth out much quicker Than our nobles This is our nordman first And here we have our number three tree

Our grand firs they have really dark Needles Uh when they’re mature but they flush Out really bright and light You could see or you’ve probably noticed Our grand first doug furs and nordman’s We’re all significantly ahead of our Nobles our nobles are the last to really Flush out and get their growth This is our number four priority tree on Our farm the doug firs They’re definitely growing quickly The trees that are still here of the Doug first we had some needle issues That we couldn’t figure out last year And they lost a lot of needles on the Inside and they’re trying to recover This year so We’re gonna have to keep an eye on these And potentially treat them Most of what i’ve shown you so far Everything’s looking pretty positive uh You know it’s never perfect when you’re Farming but most of it’s looking pretty Good and i’m happy with it here’s the One section that i’m really not happy With uh we have Our nordman furs that we planted this Spring Uh bare root we can’t get them in plugs And do them in the winter like we did But we’ve had a Lot of moisture in the ground this Spring but i i thought

That they wouldn’t be drying out the Seedlings would be doing great but Honestly let’s take a look at our Nordman seedlings So this is a section That’s kind of indicative what’s going On It’s not dead but it’s not Thriving here’s another one that’s Trying to put out new growth but it’s Not lush green and Looking beautiful here’s another tree That Not too bad off Hope uh hopefully that that one actually Looks like i do pretty good and this is What we want to see We do have a lot that looks like this Too but this is what we want to see But we don’t have as high a percentage Of these not even close to the nobles so We’re trying to figure out Uh did we get a chemical in the soft Soil there Did the Can nordman’s not take spraying over the Top of seedlings Like Like the nobles could So there are a lot of good nord men’s as Well as the ones that aren’t thriving Quite as much but Definitely the percentage of thriving Trees compared to our nobles that were

Planted in plugs in the fall The Nordman bare root in the spring are Significantly way behind and i don’t Know if it’s the bare root in the spring That did it but we’ve had plenty of Moisture in the ground they were planted Well i don’t know if maybe the nobles Could take the herbicide spray right Over the top but the normans can’t Handle it as well so barry and i are Trying to figure out what exactly is Going on there so that we don’t repeat This I’d say our nobles are doing better than Ninety percent looking good right now And our nordman’s are Maybe sixty percent fifty sixty percent Uh maybe even less than that i don’t Know i haven’t taken exact count But uh We want to address that because we love The nordman’s our customers love the Nordman’s we gotta have a better Uh thriving rate On this first year planning So right here behind me we have the Nordman furs that we started from seed We planted them in these planter boxes On april 11th so that means we started The stratification process in the end of February beginning of march And so this is the very end of may so These are

What seven weeks old something like that So Uh the stratification process went well The nordman fur seedlings are starting Uh to be honest uh if i didn’t have a Horticulture class i don’t know if i’d Be growing these Uh myself uh i think For the effort and the time and the Money it’s easier to just buy seedlings For someone that does this Professionally by the hundreds of Thousands if not millions But My nordman fur seeds are growing well You can see Most of the seed has lost its shell Some of these are getting their second Whirl of needles Starting to grow up These are about seven weeks old These are Probably six weeks old and then these Are maybe five You can see some of these Still have their Seed shell On them they haven’t opened up Completely So what is next you might ask In a couple weeks here we’re going to be Spraying for aphids we’re going to let The new growth come out a little bit More the aphids really like to attack

That traditionally we sprayed with old Tour but we’ve done that a number of Years in a row now so we might be Switching to something different because We don’t want them to build up a Tolerance to that and then we’re going To have early to mid july shearing and Might go into august depending on How long it takes And Then we’re going to let the trees rest And wait for the harvest season And hopefully we’ll probably do some More fall planting again this year Because we think the fall planting has Been really beneficial so once again Thanks for joining me on the flanigan Homestead where christmas trees are my Business teaching including horticulture Is my job and outdoor projects are my Passion be blessed everyone thanks for Joining me hey hit the like button if You don’t mind

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