HomeAll VideosChristmas tree farming: People asked questions. Here are some thoughts and answers.
Christmas tree farming: People asked questions. Here are some thoughts and answers.
December 17, 2022
Here's an intro to the intro it turns Out that I had a little over 20 minutes Of content on this and people don't like Watching videos that are that long so I Split it into two videos so this is part One of Christmastree questions and Answers and in a couple days part two Christmastree questions and answers Will come up Hello Rob here from the Flanigan Homestead and esport ChristmasTreeFarms uh today is a little bit different Video I've had a lot of people asking me Questions whether at the farm on the Channel or I see in other places so I'm Going to add sort of a variety of Questions today from Deer to measuring Pools to pre-cuts to planting and just I'm gonna give the cliff notes version Of it try to be really quick on each one A lot of these I might have a longer Video somewhere else or I will create One in the future but also I want you to Know if you're planning to become a Christmastree farmer the single most Important thing is to have a growth Mindset I stress that with my family Whether it's in sports academics or Whatever else uh know that you can grow If you say the word can't you have to Say the word yet I can't do this yet and I will be able to do it soon so have a Growth mindset and one of the best Advice I got when Barry and I were
Starting our Christmas tree farm 21 Years ago whatever it is now is we were Visiting getting educated like you People that are watching these videos Are getting educated and the guy said You're doing a great job keep asking People keep learning but just know this You're going to make mistakes no matter How much you learn from other people You're going to make mistakes but learn Overcome them and keep going on and you Can have a successful Christmas tree Farm as well I wanted to do this video Outside but the wind is blowing and Causing problems with the camera and the Audio I tell you doing YouTube trying to Be an outdoor project guy and doing a YouTube channel this YouTube really Slows me down but I do enjoy it as well So that's the way it is so I'm going to Come inside and we're going to have Different Christmas decorations as my Backdrop that my wife has put up and Then some people want to kind of get to Know the person that's doing the channel So right now I'm sitting at our baby Grand piano no we did not buy this my Mother-in-law is a piano teacher and a Music teacher at the school she had two Baby Grands she quit teaching piano and Asked my wife if she would like one so Yes we do have a baby grand piano which My wife loves sitting down at and Relaxing and uh during the Christmas
Series season we have the nativity scene On it and the birth of Christ because Well Jesus is the reason for this season So that's why he's there and another Interesting thing my last Christmas one Of my sons and his wife got me a bobble Head doll of Flanagan Homestead so I'm Just putting up here as the fourth wise Man Just kidding One of the first questions that I was Asked is uh Rob what do you do about Deer And that is a tough one different people Have different answers my grandpa who Taught me a lot of what I know about Christmas tree farming just said you Know Rob you're just going to have to Plant a certain number of trees for the Deer and just know that they're going to Take a percentage which is really rough And you know we I hate coming back Through the field and seeing a tree that I thought was going to be beautiful and A buck came through and took out a foot And a half to two feet of the branches And and it's just hard uh what can you Do that one I'm still at a loss for I Know having the dogs run around the Field is helpful and we do encourage Hunting on our tree farm if if you can Find a deer and kill it please do I know That sounds harsh but Um you know if it starts getting hunted
The deer tend to move down into the Valley uh down by the river and stay Away from the farm so Deer is an issue uh just know that They're if you have a lot of deer in Your area they're going to damage a Certain number of trees we've found Fortunately that Quite often they like to come back to The same trees and not just go down the Field and destroy the whole row Number two what type of tree should you Plant and how should you save No depending on your area of the country You're going to grow a lot of different Things but do this go and see what's the Top selling trees in your area whether It's Nobles nordmans frasers Canadian or I don't even know if I say that right Because we don't grow them a whole lot Here But Find out what is selling and plant a lot Of those I would recommend if you're Gonna have you cut Farm have at least Two probably three maybe four different Varieties of trees to people to choose From my wife tells me every year we're Going to have a Nordman fur and it's Going to be sheer narrow and that's one Of the things too the beauties of Vienna You cut Christmas tree farm is you get People that like fat and you get narrow And if they tend to get away from you
People like different things but this Tree is just about touches our nine foot Ceiling but it's only about four feet Across at the bottom and my wife would Like that a little bit to be a little Bit narrower actually so um when you're Sharing your Christmas trees just know You know if you're going for the 40 Degree angle or the 45 degree angle if It it's a little wide on you and then The tree gets tall it's hard to bring That back in but if and sometimes I've Been stuck with some some trees that got A little bit wide and kept going and Nobody really wanted it but I've never Been stuck with a skinny tree that was Reasonably full with branches because as It grows up people that have higher Ceilings but don't want it to take over Their entire room like a tree that Shared a little bit narrower so not Every tree has to be seared the same but If you let them get really wide Sometimes it's hard to get rid of them And get them back in they get too big Okay over by the fireplace where the Stockings were hung by the chimney with Care this is for my four boys my one Daughter-in-law my wife and I uh Actually five boys we have another one That lives with us and uh rumor has it That I will be getting a couple more Daughter-in-laws here in the near future Not official yet but uh keeping an eye
On that Um anyway so people ask do you really Like to plant in the fall more than the Spring you know traditionally that Spring planting is what it's done that's When the nurseries like to ship them out That's when they like to do it but we Have done fall planting just a few years Now and we have found that we believe That the survival rate is better now Here in the Pacific Northwest and we're Talking specifically about Furs I've Been reading the studies from Oregon State University about how uh there's a Significant amount of root growth in October and November and so this last Year we didn't get to plant as early as We wanted because it was an incredibly It was wet spring but incredibly dry Fall and I'm a football coach as well And so some years you go out in the Entire August September October it's Just getting rained on out here but this Year was really dry football season went By did not get wet once and you know What in the state of Washington yeah That's true so I mean it was an Incredibly dry year but uh my our plan In the future is we're going to keep an Eye on the weather reports and when we See that first series of rain coming in Because we are very dry in July and August actually around here and then we Have our nine months of rain so as soon
As that rain it starts coming in there's Going to be moisture in the ground and It's going to be sealing in we like to Put trees in the ground so plugs you're Not disturbing The Roots because you Have the little plugs that you do it uh That you just stick in there and the Dirt goes with the transplant we can get Bare Roots but you know if you get bare Root at that time of year you know you Are cutting the roots which are actually Actively trying to grow but if you get Them in the ground quickly they can Continue to grow and uh go there but we We feel that that it just gets watered In The Roots get established and if Nothing else the dirt is packed around The roots really good and we've had Better growth in the spring in this in The following spring and summer and Better survival if we plant in the fall Okay back to the piano for number four Uh if I was to start again the first Thing I'd look at well besides do I have Enough land to grow the trees is parking If I want to have a you cut Christmas Tree farm which is me I'm not a Wholesaler and even if you have a Wholesaler you need to have room for big Rigs to come in and at least turn around And pick up but it has been an issue at My farm as we grew and other people that I've talked to as they've grown and even As you watch other people that have a
YouTube channel parking seems like every Year becomes an issue or as you're Growing so if you're going to do even a Small Anchorage Christmas tree font uh Five acres to ten acres and you're gonna Be selling 100 to 200 trees in a weekend You got a plan to be able to have 30 40 50 cars at a time there they don't space Themselves out so if if you want to grow Christmas trees and you don't have the Ability to park a lot of cars then try To go wholesale and just cut them off if You want to go you cut and you want to Be successful and you want to have Hundreds of people out a day you better Have parking for them All right number five here should you Sell pre-cuts if you have a Christmas Tree farm your own I I was amazed at how Contentious this topic has become uh Some of us that cut our own Christmas Trees not me but uh we'll we'll badmouth Those people that have a pre-cut Christmas tree and put it on their line Because it's just not as fresh and the Likelihood of needles falling out uh is Much greater than if you cut a live tree And take it home I noticed this last Year I've never seen it before around Here but there were trees being cut down In October before Halloween that are Were being shipped to California or Whatever or not and my personal opinion Is wow how is that tree going to survive
How is it going to hold up but I'm not The one that's going to say you Shouldn't have pre-cuts but uh the later It's cut the better Um you know honestly probably the number Of Christmas trees and homes Across America more are pre-cut than they are a Live Christmas tree now obviously the Live is the best but just so you you Know I we our farm has been really low Uh in quantity right lately we've had to Shut down really early and this is due To some issues came up like can we plant A few years ago Um my farm is not on my personal Property it's on my business partners Very actually and it's not even all on His it's on Family Properties and we we Didn't get some planting in due to some Health issues and some family Dynamics Issues making sure how the property was Divided up and what we could use and so There was a few years that we didn't Plant nearly what we should have and so We're kind of in a drought of Christmas Trees and so we've got more trees in the Ground right now than we've ever had Before we're excited to continue farming And growing up but uh as our those Thousands and thousands of little trees Start growing up we've been pushing away Almost intentionally pushing away Customers because we don't have enough Trees but as we get to a year or two
From when we're going to start having All of our trees and having a bunch of Them again we're going to want to have Our clientele our our customer base Built back up to where it was I mean we Got to where we didn't have you have Enough trees even when we had a lot of Trees because we were really popular due To the service and everything else that We had and but now we're kind of pushing People away saying we don't have enough Trees we don't have enough trees Um so but a few years before all the Trees that in the ground start going We're gonna probably we haven't decided For sure yet but we're probably going to Start putting more uh bringing in some Wholesale trees some pre-cuts and so That we can start getting in more people Staying open a few more days and start Building our customer base back up and Then when we do have enough trees that We could stay open for weeks then we can Advertise hey we're fully open and then Those people that want to come back Every year a lot of people will let us Know when you're open on these dates Because right now we're so limited and They have traditions on when they you Know we'll be back when you're open on These dates but we're not there so Pre-cuts um Can if you sell them do everything you Can to keep them fresh
Have them harvested as late as possible But a lot of wholesalers can't do it Super late and last but not least you Know talking about keeping a Christmas Tree fresh make sure that they cut the Bottom of the stump you know cut that Off I think most Christmas tree Growers Understand that by now they encourage Them or do it for them cut the very Bottom of the tree where that is clotted Or coagulated and it's not drying up Water very well cut that off so right Before you put the tree in the stand and It'll drop better water and hopefully Refresh the pre-cut tree that has been Drying out for a month before they put It in their home So there's the cliff notes version on Some of the topics and questions that Have been coming up I do have some Longer videos on some of these topics And my Christmas tree list on my YouTube Channel so please feel free to uh look At those also if you have any other Questions that you'd like answered that I could try to answer I'd love to hear Them in the comments and many of you Christmas tree Farmers that are viewing These and you have knowledge or good Ideas please share them with us so I can Learn as well as my other viewers and uh You know thank you for those of you that Have commented uh to me and if some of You even called me personally and said
Thanks for doing the videos we really Appreciate we're learning a lot one of My main Love Languages is words of Affirmation and I try to be a helpful Guy and so I I when people say thank you We really appreciate it it does mean a Lot to me so uh anyway thanks for Joining me on the Flanagan Homestead Where Christmas trees are my business Teaching cleaning Horticulture is my job And outdoor projects are my passion hope To see you again soon be blessed Everyone and Mary Christmas