Growing a lighter more manageable Christmas tree

[Music] Okay after Nearly 18 years of growing christmas Trees i Want to say i’ve really enjoyed the Process and will continue to enjoy the Process One of the mistakes i made early on is How i Grew the trees which made them so they Weren’t manageable i don’t mean the Height of the trees sometimes you want To have really tall trees because some People want them But i’m talking the trunks of the tree Got way too large And when the trunks of the tree get too Large It’s heavy remember you have to cut These trees down and you have to haul Them out Or your customers do and they’re not Going to be happy about it so we did Some things wrong That made the trunks too large and what We’ve changed now One of the things that we’ve done Actually makes it so we can harvest Trees Maybe a year or two earlier so It’s a win-win if you keep a smaller Trunk And get the tree there faster Look at the size of this stump this

Thing is a monster Okay almost a dinner plate here i’d say That’s Nine inches across right now you know How much fun It was carrying this tree out of the Field Not fun at all we didn’t have just a Couple big trees Big stumps look at these right in a row Here Here’s an example of two trees that We’re doing differently now Than we did at the beginning when we had Too thick a trunk tree Uh this is a tree that we these two Trees we would have Started shearing when we first started Christmas tree farming When they were only about two and a half Feet tall we would have been cut into an Eight foot eight inch leader no more Than a foot And then shearing it and they would have Been nice and tight and beautiful little Christmas trees But then they’re adding more rings They’re filling in Uh more quickly and so They’re they’re just the rings are Getting bigger and bigger So what we’ve started doing lately and i Learned this from a guy Years ago uh he had a tree farm and they

Looked all straggly up Up to five feet tall and that’s not Gonna be a christmas tree but then he Slowed him down and start let them start Filling in So this tree years ago i would have Would only be this height at this age Because i would have been cutting it Back to that eight inch Leader so this grew almost two feet this Year there’s lots of buds it’ll fill in So i let it grow a lot now i would not Want this big a leader on a tree i’m Gonna harvest but it’s over five feet Tall So this next year i’ll only let it go Eight inches and i’ll get it let it get A little over six feet And then maybe eight more inches and so It’ll be Seven and a half feet and then we’ll get It up to eight feet so we’ve i’ve got Three more years here In those three years now that i’m going To slow it down This will all still start filling in and It’ll be a full tree But at the same point in time we’ve Still got a little tiny trunk Right here and this tree is going to get To eight feet tall And it’s going to have a four inch five Inch diameter trunk nothing Like those monster trees that you were

Looking at So this tree grew from here to here Last year probably 13 14 inches And then it put on 16 17 18 inches this Year again Years past i would have been cutting the Leader and trimming this back But there’s plenty of buds and side Branches this coming year Because it’s getting up to eight five Feet tall i’m only going to let it have Eight inches Eight more inches the next year it’ll Fill out and this will be a beautiful Tree Uh and it will fill out completely got To make sure you got enough nitrogen for Growth you gotta have in there For help to help with the bud Development and so it’s got a lot of Buds to fill in But it’s amazing let it grow up And then slow it down the last couple Years and it’ll fill out And it won’t be that monster trunk you Don’t want those Break your back trying to carry those Things out Another thing to do is start cutting Your handles early and be aggressive I used to hate cutting off even 10 Inches for the handle off the tree Now going to foot is no problem And the sooner you can do it obviously

When the tree is too young you don’t Want to do it But once the tree gets up to three feet You might as well take off the first 10 Inches of the branches It won’t be growing knots that are Thicker all the green foliage that You’re going to have to cut off before You harvest anyway You cut off early because all that Energy going into the tree creates a Larger trunk So once the tree gets to belt high On on your waist there should not be any Branches on the bottom foot they All need to go and that will put the Energy where it belongs and the other Branches that you’re going to keep It won’t have any other branches growing Up in here and that will mess up the Shape of the tree And it’ll keep that trunk nice and small And when the tree will still get full But when You come and cut it down it’ll carry out A lot lighter [Music] I mentioned once the tree is belt high That you should be Cutting off a full foot for the handle Obviously this tree is not felt high It’s only about two feet high But we had a young man that needed to Make some money this summer so we had

Him come out and start cutting handles On a really short tree like this we Can’t afford to take a full foot off yet But if we we had him take off some of The lower branches And leave two thirds of the tree and Then In another couple years we’ll probably Take off another Whirl of these branches and another Couple inches once There’s more trees so we’re not taking Too high of a percentage of the tree But because we took this off it’ll be Easier to do the handles Later we won’t have any really big Branches and it’s not creating a super Large trunk right now So this tree has actually Had handle started this year and then in The future We’ll come up and take a couple more Inches and that’s going to keep the tree Nice and light Please consider joining me again on the Flanigan homestead where christmas trees Are my business Teaching including horticulture is my Job and outdoor projects Are my passion

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