Experimenting with early season Christmas tree shearing. Things to be careful about.

Hello rob here from flanigan homestead And east fork christmas tree farm i’m Standing on my farm in mid-june actually June 16th to be exact and i’m gonna do Some early season sharing earlier than i Normally do and uh the reason we’re Gonna try this as i had some people uh Recommending on some facebook pages that I follow in other groups that are saying Hey where i’m all done cheering for the Year and i’m like done shearing I can’t even start yet so historically Here in the pacific northwest we start Shearing after the 4th of july and we’ll Be sharing through july and usually Early august and depending on how many Trees you have it might be even longer But we’re usually done by then but These trees the limbs are still a little Droopy you can tell because they haven’t Uh fully matured and extended out and so Usually we wait until they’re done Growing here but uh there may be some Benefits to shearing early One of them is my my blade i have my Brush king 18 inch blade 18 inch handle Which i prefer Should go through this like a hot knife Through butter which actually when you Keep it sharp That’s usually not an issue anyway but It should go through really easy but Some of the other benefits that the the People that have done this we’re talking

About is When i get a tree that’s ready to Harvest it’s seven eight feet tall this One’s even taller than that right now If i take a knife and i take a knife to It i’ve got this really if it’s a full Tree i got a really straight edge and Which that’s great that you have a great Shape But it looks Too uh Manicured okay but if i they’re saying If i shear now and the tree is still Growing a little bit some of the Branches will grow an inch and a half or Whatever some of them will grow an inch But they’ll be inconsistent whatever the Distance is so even though we’ve got That nice shape we won’t it won’t look Just an exact straight line cut down so It’ll look a little bit more natural so That’s one of the benefits that they’re Talking about One of the other benefits that some are Saying is the wound if you’ve sheared Christmas tree late in the year you know That sometimes The cut branch at the very end has a Wound that heals up and has a scar and It it doesn’t look pretty with that Sticking out there and they say that This heals up better and it looks better Come harvest time to do it earlier in The season so uh i’m not gonna do all my

Trees i’m probably i’m standing next to A noble right now i’m probably gonna do Four or five nobles Um i’m probably gonna do a few grands Today and then this is my experimental Year i’m gonna compare them to the trees That we wait another month to share and See how they compare so Let’s go get Tree number one of the year done So this line is here that’s what i’m Talking about it’s so full and it’s a Really straight edge but hoping one Branch or the other grows just a little Bit more than the other so it has a more Natural look when it’s all done On a different side note i’ve i’m so Thick in here that i’m going to take my Pruners and take some of these branches Out here because this is just too thick In here whereas it’s a little more open Here on the nobles you need a little bit Of openness Okay just to give you an idea i’m not Sharing this tree completely right now But as soft as this is and as sharp as My blade is right now It you know normally you say swing it Fast so it’s going to cut through but This These uh branches are just ready to go With very little effort at all so that Is one of the benefits of being able to Share this time of year

Okay i’m glad i came up on this tree Next i have one i’m gonna shear it but The top definitely needs some work done On it and uh we do not want to tie tops This time of year so let me shear the Tree and then i’ll tell you why we Definitely don’t want to tie tops this Time of year at least not with the Variety trees i have Um Okay i moved over here to a smaller tree To show you why we don’t want to tie the Tops right now this one is just good to Fit in the camera and i can talk behind It so when we have a leader that goes Like this to the side we definitely want To tie it up and so barry and i normally Take a stick usually just Fur that i cut the quarter inch by Quarter inch and we we twist tie it to The branch of the tree and then we Tie the leader to the stick And then it grows up and well it’s Already grown up and then it as it Hardens off in the end of the year it Stays straight and we can take the Sticks off and harvest and they stay Straight but what happened in the past One year barry and i tried to do this a Lot earlier when the Leaders were still really pliable and They’d bend up easily there’s a there’s A special time of the year where they’re Not too hard and not too soft or they’re

Done growing but we we were tying them Up and what we did is uh so just so you Understand the growth of a tree This you can see the darker green in Here this is where the last year’s Branch ended and there was a bud here a Bud here and a bud here so This stuff this branch did not grow at All from here it’s still the same length It was in years past This bud bud here and here these are all New growth and cells are coming out and Growing here but it grows from the end Of the old branch but then the new cells Are added here and it keeps pushing the New tip further and further out and so Uh that creates that’s good to Understand when you to the top here’s a Top that i just there was an extra top On this tree i tore out but to give you An example of what happened to us in the Past is we took our sticks and we tied It to the trunk of the tree and then we Tied the top to it and then the cells Continued to grow From here and so more and more cells Were added and they pushed up and they Pushed up and they pushed up and this is Exactly what we got right here because This part of the leader could not go up We created a bubble in our leader and we Had this through our entire field and it Was a big mistake and we will never do That again so uh even though we’re gonna

Try shearing a little bit early And getting the shape of the tree and Hoping that actually the rest of this Grows a little bit to give us a little More natural look we definitely do not Want to tie our our leaders and have This grow up grow up grow up and create A bubble here because we’re trying to Get a straight leader Not to create a bubble in it All right All right tree number three for the year This one has a natural Naturally more slender the other ones i Did at probably 40 degrees this one Might be a little bit less than 40 Degrees but the great thing about you Cut christmas tree farms some people Like them narrow some like wide they Don’t have to all be exactly the same I can tell my arm’s not in shape i’m Already filling in the forearm and i’m Tree number three Got something there Okay how’s it going Okay i’m standing in the grand firs i Said i was going to do four or five Grands as well but uh i’ll show you the Rest of the trees here in a little bit But i don’t think the grandfather is Even ready to do it i mean it is Still drooping to the point that uh it’s Not really ready these branches will As they mature and get more turgor

Pressure they’ll start lifting and Getting more horizontal and they’re Easier to cut off but these are so flat I don’t think uh these are ready i might Even if i want to do these early i need Might need to wait another week or two But i’m gonna go ahead and do one Just for experimental purposes uh we’ll See how this one does and then i’ll Probably come back in a couple weeks and Do an early cut And late june To get the branches I’m almost having to go too far in And i cut too much off Because they’re laying so flat i I’m not confident in how this That was cut too much i’m not confident How this one’s gonna work out but We’ll give her a try it’s one tree All for the sake of science Okay so uh i just sheared that one Grandfather i didn’t like how it went Because i had to get too far in to even Get the tips because they’re hanging so Far down so you can see this grand is Like that as well this one and as we pan Across the field you’ll see that uh Basically our entire field of brands Are just Not quite ready need the branches to get Out a little bit more horizontal for us To start sharing it even for an area Early shearing

All right so there we are with our early Season shearing earlier than normal We’re doing it mid-june instead of Mid-july And uh check back in later in the year And we’ll compare the trees that we Shared now and the ones we did a month Later and as always 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 hope to see you again soon