Growing Christmas trees, reflecting on the process after 17 years

Okay rob and barry here from esport Christmas tree farms and uh we’re just Going to give you a little bit Of what it’s like to grow a five-acre Christmas tree farm soon to be a little Bit more acreage yes Yeah so first of all barry if somebody Was going to go into the christmas tree Farm business and do a small Five six acre yuka what would you tell Them don’t do it No i say that kiddingly no if you love Working the land and you’re not afraid Of a lot of hard work And a lot of planning it’s been a lot of Fun it’s been a good Good uh endeavor for the both of us it Was a little bit little bit of money to Be had for us As well my advice would be If you’re willing to be patient it’s Good We planted these trees 16 years ago i Just looked it up the first trees And we probably grew trees for five or Six years before we got to sell Anything so you need to realize that you Are going to be in the red for a number Of years Now that we’ve gotten to where we’re Harvesting every year and replacing it Uh Each year we’re making good money for That year’s work but we’re still trying

To make up for the previous year’s work So Don’t go into christmas tree farming as A short-term investment you know it’s Not an annual crop Unless you’re going to do a wholesale And cut everything down in seven years Then plan on seven years if you’re going To want to do a u-cut you got a plan to Be in this at least 12 years Before it’s really worthwhile we get People that come to the farm and And they have property like like we did And they’re like you know that’s a great Idea Put that that property to use i think That would be a great way to keep it an Egg and also You know not be a lot of work well i Said it’s a lot of work and it truly is And when people make that statement Uh it’s time and it’s an investment There’s a summer time we put in with the Shearing and the pruning Uh the weed control the the pest control Um the best part of tree farms though Are the is the selling time and we’re You cut we cut actually most of them but We You know technically that might be Called a u-cut and that is a lot of fun I get to see the same people come back The same families come back sometimes Now that we’ve been doing it

What selling for 10 years approximately We some of the we see some families that When we first saw the kids They were little and now they’re Teenagers and and beyond and We’re both both teachers so um we get to See students that have come And families of students that have that Come back and then some of those even Have now new families So that part of it’s really rewarding I’d like to add in on that I have a lot of friends that i see once A year now the day they come out to get The tree i get to be part of their Christmas i get to have some fun with Them it’s a joyous time of the year And then you know their lives have them Off in other places my life has me back In woodland But there’s a lot of friends i see once A year and we really enjoy catching up If it’s not a really busy day yeah Sometimes it’s so busy we can’t Visit but if you know usually if they Come early morning we have a chance to Visit a little Bit as we haul their tree out yep yeah That’s true Okay if you’re going to start a Christmas tree farm You got to gather some knowledge and Just move forward and do it but you’re Going to make some mistakes it’s just

Going to happen And it’s farming especially when you Have a crop you’re going to have to wait Seven years that it’s going to happen That Something wrong is going to happen to Some of the trees and you’re going to Have to take care of it One of the challenges we’ve faced is you Know sometimes planting and we get a Real hot summer And we don’t have water to irrigate so We we’ve had a few years where we had a Lot of seedlings die off One year i think we got some chemical on The seedlings and killed them off and That’s Part of the reason we’re low on trees This year but there’s different Challenges um Aphids are the main pest of the tree Itself Uh they really hit the grand first bad Uh obviously they affect nobles too And you know you’ll see some of my video On how to Spray for aphids but those are Challenges um Deer as well deer are the the deer that Roam the uh The area around here especially the buck They love to rub on our young trees So we lose a percentage of trees every Year to to deer rub

And and we count on losing a percentage Of trees but What we’ve also experienced in our loss Has been a little bit of maybe the Climate change scenario that’s occurring In the area So we have not had the wetter Summers recently and that’s caused a lot Of our seedlings to die so we We are up against it from one angle and Another angle Um to make sure that we can produce a Healthy tree for people to take home And enjoy later on christmas time Okay as you’re looking forward and Planning ahead you know Since we’re six seven years out when we Plant trees you’re trying to project the Market you don’t Really know one of the things that is Going on right now is a lot of people Are getting fake christmas trees and i Know a lot of people are really Concerned about that Um but it’s been my experience a lot of People that are getting a fake christmas Tree Like to put it up early and then they Come out here and get a real christmas Tree later on Uh some of these people have multiple Trees There’s a lot of people that have had a Fake christmas tree and then realize

That That just doesn’t cut it and then they Start coming back out and getting a real Christmas tree so Even though there are more and more fake Christmas trees being sold I don’t i think there will always be and Continue to be a market for real Christmas trees And uh you know most people just won’t Settle for the Debauchery of a fake christmas tree Okay so barry’s a good friend of mine And we’re business partners now but why It’s an interesting story on how this All started as far as a business Partnership so Yeah it is an interesting story um i Grew up on this farm you see behind me It was 40 acres initially um my dad Always wanted his sons potentially to Do some farming on it we raised cattle On the property for many many years but He wanted to do something more Thought we would use it to to do some ag Work And uh but none of us ever had the Gumption to do it I’m working with rob at the building we Were teaching at together and We strike up a conversation and find out His grandfather was a christmas tree Farmer And that led to us discussing the

Potential of doing this and ultimately Um with his knowledge in the land that i Had access to It helped us to to start up the farm and It’s been a good partnership we We actually still don’t even have Anything legally written down but 17 years 16 17 years later we’re doing Good um Barry’s a good worker i think i i do a Good job And so it’s been a good partnership that We We’re well we’ve planted a lot more Trees we’re hoping to continue this on Um another thing that i’d like to share That’s been a really positive Other than just the money is it’s been Fantastic For my family personally and i know Berries as well but I have four sons of my own and uh they Well they’re good strong boys but They’re also athletes and throughout the Years They’ve always wanted to work in the Summer but have flexibility of schedule So you know our shearing season is the Bulk of a lot of our work And we start mid july mid early to mid July and it’ll go into august And one of the fun things that has been You know if the boys have Morning lift we could start after lift

Or one year They started their lifting their group At 11 o’clock every morning so we would Get out here At six in the morning and work for a Part day then they can go So one thing it is um you know i’ve had My boys work for other people now and Usually they come back say your boys Know how to work and they learned how to Do that Partly on the farm and it’s just partly Who they are and It allowed them to go to church camp Go to sports camps and do things but we Could be flexible on our schedule And there’s just there’s so many hours Of sharing that we need to do during the Summer And we need to make sure we get this Done by before school starts But we can make it work and it’s been Fantastic For my boys growing up yeah actually and My boys Were some of the initial crew for Planting the farm I mean they they kind of outgrew by the Time we were shearing and working on the Sharing piece of the farm They they didn’t get much of that but They were here planting many of our Initial 1200 trees and then the next generation

As well so It’s been good for both of our families And a partnership Generally doesn’t last long in the Business world but we’ve had 17 years Great years together That’s primarily because we just love Being in the field working together and That our kids and our families Have been able to join in this endeavor All right thank you so much for watching As always we’d love it if you’d like Subscribe Share this with whoever you want um you Might also want to try these other Videos that uh have to do with Uh growing christmas trees uh we’ve got 17 years experience and We’re hoping to share with you

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