Christmas trees: harvesting and bagging 4.5 Million seedlings!

All right i’m uh really happy today you Guys know i’m a christmas tree farmer And i’ve been Going out and visiting a couple other Farms and this Is a farm that’s directly related to Christmas tree farming this is bruce Summers he runs lewis river Reforestation And uh they’re lifting noble fur trees Actually for a christmas tree fawn today And we’re gonna go through the process So thank you bruce for having us out You’re welcome So uh first of all how many acres is it Called Uh 52 total acres and uh Can you remind me how many trees We ship just over four and a half Million trees Per year uh of course it’s a two-year Tree so there’s about Well there’s nine million on the farm Altogether So today we had to wait uh hour and a Half or so Two hours to start because uh the Temperature was down below freezing We like to wait at least till it comes Up above freezing To start lifting the trees and exposing Those roots to the cold air Um not that it won’t the cold kills them Because they’re going to go in the

Freezer at 28 degrees anyway but The freeze drying effect that will get That could cause the hairs on the roots To To die is what we’re trying to avoid so Just as It’s one of those rule of thumb type Farming things or just wait till it’s Over freezing and And start just in case It’s above freezing now and the crew is Out in the field harvesting christmas Trees Let’s go out there and see how it’s done Okay bruce tell me what we’re seeing Here so what It’s a egg doll uh lifting machine Uh it goes underneath and what it’s Doing it’s it’s got a u-shaped blade on The front that’s picking the trees up And then The fingers on the back are shaking at Least most of the dirt out And loosening it up for the guys so they Can pull them out without tearing the Roots off Too bad and they’re shaking the Remainder of the dirt out And just putting them in piles and they Get loaded Into these and these are the the same Bins we saw over at the shed They’re getting uh filled up with the Unprocessed tree

Right now we uh we’re right in the Middle of our harvest season in fact We’re about 60 percent completed With our harvest right now Part most of the crop about 95 percent Of it is a 1-1 which We start from a seed and we grow it for One year We dig it up spread them out transplant Them growing for a second year And then this is a second year tree Behind me Well you’re gonna see the noble fur uh Actually is growing in a greenhouse and We get a one year tree from the Greenhouse and we transplant that for The second year All right before you start pulling there Has to be a certain number of days Below a certain temperature is that Right doug several studies were done By a warehouse were back in the 70s on Trees and the best time to transplant And all that And they reached their maximum dormancy Stage which Is when you want to transplant anything When it’s least nor at least Active for the least amount of stress And they Found that when a doug fir tree has Reached 400 hours below 42 degrees Temperature cumulative then That puts them in their most dormant

State um What temperature is your freezer are you Cooling we keep the cooler about 34 to 36 degrees that’s just enough Above freezing but Cool enough to keep you know fungus and Pathogens from wanting to grow Inside the bag we’re digging christmas Trees today On the christmas tree farmer i usually Like to plant mine Around president’s day if you have any Idea when They actually they will wait until Because these are christmas trees and They’re going in fields They got to wait till the field’s dry And they can get out and get the fields Prepped so These trees will actually go into the Freezer Next week and holiday tree farms is the One we’re going for they will freeze Them And then they’ll thaw them out and start Planting probably April We have a really sandy loam and of Course that’s uh That’s ideal for growing trees because Of our harvest season is right now in The winter time so The quicker the soil dries out and you Can lift during the tree dormancy the

Better Uh unfortunately because of semi loam Our organic matter Typically runs around one and a half Percent one to one and a half percent Which is pretty low of course so we try To do as many soil amendments as we can To keep that up Once the trees are lifted in the field And they come in here and this is our Where we store the what we call the raw Tree temporarily This is these are all full of trees that Haven’t been counted or sorted yet They’re fresh out of the field Um they’re just waiting for their next Turn in through the packing facility So you can see as they come in the guys Here are loading just putting them up on The tables for the For the sorters to count and you can see They take They’re making sure they’re nice and Separated all the roots are hanging Straight down And they’re also counting them so They’re they’re counting into bundles of 10 And then they’re putting them on the Conveyor belt behind them So they come down here the uh They’re actually she’s grabbing two Bundles so she’s putting 20 trees In each slot and you can see the table

Is marked there In inches so she knows exactly where to Put them for the right length And then there’s a saw blade underneath The cover And it’s cutting all the roots off and They come out nice and trim and Uniform They put them in the bag and then They’ll give them a short Squirt of water in the bag And then they’re strapped and [Music] Out the door there’s 120 in each bag We can do about 150 000 a I day you enjoyed our trip to lewis River reforestation Uh please consider subscribing right Here to the flanigan homestead where Christmas trees are my business My job is teaching including Horticulture and homestead projects Including farming gardening and outdoor Projects are my passion Here we got to see 52 acre farm produce 9 million trees Ship four and a half million a year There’s more of that to come