How much does it cost to grow a Christmas tree? Planting seedling to cash in hand.

Hello rob here from flanigan homestead And east fork christmas tree farms today I think is Going to be one of the videos that Those of you that watch my channel for Christmas tree farming this is one that You’ve been waiting for i haven’t Thought about doing but people want to Do it and that is how much Does it cost to grow a christmas tree From the time you start to time you Harvest it how much does it actually Cost to grow so what kind of Profits can i make and I want to let you know right off the bat There’s no one good answer for that There’s all kinds of different variables Some there’s ways to do it that are Really cheap but may not get as good of Trees and ways that are more expensive So i’m going to give you a couple Different examples with the when the Variables were different and played out Differently but the one thing that i can Give you and i’ve got statistics here on The sheet of paper is these trees that i Harvested this last year Winter season 2021 I could tell you with pretty pretty Reasonable Statistics how much it cost me to grow These trees the last year and i sold The grand firs i’m standing in right now For seventy dollars a piece i sold

My noble furs for 85 dollars a piece and That will be going up this next year So You’ll know what it costs over the last Seven years to grow christmas trees uh i Will say the expenses especially Fertilizer and chemicals are going up And so I can’t tell you what it’s going to cost The next year eight years seven eight Years but this will give you a pretty Good idea of what it costs to grow Christmas trees By the way i i always see other channels Saying this if you like any of the Content please remember to hit like when You’re watching my videos Subscribe or share them but the thing i Like the most is comments and on this Particular video i’d love for those of You that are veterans and then have have Figured out the equation of how much it Costs you to grow a tree share some Thoughts that i missed and even if You’re brand new to christmas trees you Haven’t i just love hearing comments From people that are getting into Christmas trees and the excitement and i Remember the stages of starting the farm With my family so If you want to comment your stories or Corrections or what you think might be Different from my calculations here let Me know

Okay my first example of growing Christmas trees and this is not Something that you’re going to be able To Replicate doing wholesale but About 30 years ago My grandpa was uh Was very successful with christmas trees And he’s grown trees and i helped him Out on his farm and then he gave me a 100 seedlings to plant on my property Not not this property here But Up On the hills across the valley there It’s too steep to grow a lot of Christmas trees and not access to Commercially do it but i have enough Area that i did 100 christmas trees so He gave them to me for free and i grew Those i didn’t fertilize them good soil Maybe a little bit of fertilizer i hand Pruned them and clipped them With just a pruner didn’t have a Shearing knife or anything And I grew A high percentage of really quality Christmas trees and They cost me 10 cents to grow now that’s Not a reality uh if you want to be a Christmas tree farmer because he gave me The trees and i had i’ve maybe sprayed Herbicide once around them mostly just

Knocked them down knocked the weeds down And maybe fertilized them once or twice But Really it was way less than a dollar to Grow a christmas tree but that’s not how It’s really going to work What i want to talk about now is What i did this last Cycle of eight years so and it’s Important to understand that these Numbers are based on You already have the equipment so uh for Instance the warming shed i don’t know If you can see it or the christmas cabin Uh that was already built i The you know i’ve already done a cycle Or two of christmas trees here on this Farm so i i don’t have a ton of Equipment because i’m not a huge farmer But i already i owned a quad just Because i live out in the country so i i Already had a boom sprayer to put on it To spray herbicide i bought a backpack Blower to blow chemicals you know and Then so i already had the shearing Knives and the pruners so that that Basic equipment already had the cost of The land is not factored into this this Is just The trees the chemicals the labor and That type of thing so in the last eight Years uh this is what uh it cost Okay so year number one eight years ago When i got this 2014 i got christmas

Trees the seedlings for 41 cents a tree That i put into the ground and uh back Then i was hot doing it mostly myself if There was labor it was my son’s it was At ten dollars an hour and that’s one of The things that you’re going to notice Labor is significantly different on as It goes on i had kids working for ten Dollars an hour when i these trees were Planted last year i had paid out a lot Of labor at about twenty dollars an hour Just because that’s what it takes to get People to work around here these days so Anyway The the cost of labor can change Dramatically Also in that first year We obviously put down some herbicide to Kill the grass and weeds to prepare the Field and we needed to bring the ph to The proper level so we added some lime So we The herbicide Equaled out to six cents uh per tree and The lime Worked out to about 30 cents per tree That we In preparing the soil so you figure out How much you know i don’t actually buy It by the tree but i i got these numbers By saying how much did it cost me to do An acre how many trees are an acre so i Did the math and broke it down just in Case you’re wondering how i knew what it

Was per tree year two on the farm we had About seven cents uh per tree and Herbicide again and we had about two Cents in fertilizer per tree So that’s about nine cents If i’m not paying for any labor with the Labor worked in at the cost at the time It worked out to about 15 cents per tree So uh Years two three and four a really small Expenses depending on if i’m using uh You know a little bit of fertilizer Because the trees are small typically we Put two ounces of granular fertilizer Per foot height of tree so when all my Trees are small they’re not using much When they’re eight feet tall you know Then we’re using 16 ounces of fertilizer So obviously the cost goes up for Fertilizer per tree yes we do sprinkle Around each tree individually Okay normal spring day here in Washington is starting to drizzle a Little bit hopefully the rains don’t Come too hard I’ll try to put a copy of my spreadsheet In the description or a link to it or Some of this information But i’m going to go over briefly so There’s not a lot of manual labor on Shaping the trees for years two three And even four Nobles grow slowly and we’ll kind of let Them just start getting a little bit of

Height and get going and then we start Shearing them and obviously the smaller They are the less uh effort it takes the Larger they get the more so at that Point after about year three or four we Start doing some basil pruning or Cutting handles as we call it uh the Bottom 10 to 12 inches off the bottom of The tree so they fit in the stand So that starts Creating a little bit of labor cost and Then we start taking our knives and Shearing the tree and giving them the Shape and working the tops if we have to As well so Using that example in year four we had Nine cents of herbicide if we used it Fertilizer and lime we are at three Cents per tree and this is without labor Shearing There was just a little bit hours even Up to year four So not a significant cost and we did Have to start spraying for aphids and Mites at that point in time and that Worked out to about five cents uh a tree For the chemicals and If you figured in the labor eight cents So uh all that stuff on year four would Be 17 cents for the materials on year Four No labor 21 cents of labor so we’re at 40 cents a tree in year four that we put Into it with uh if if the labor was

Hired out okay so i just talked about Year four when that’s when we really Started doing most of the work that you Have to do every year you got to keep The weeds down you got to share it You got to fertilize it you got to do Aphid control so If you look at the spreadsheet it slow Gradually gets a little bit more cost Every year Obviously the the hours of shearing is The biggest significance you know up Till about year four you’re not doing Many hours of shearing once you get to About year six and you got a thousand Trees out there you’re you’re spending a Lot of time uh shaping the trees and Working the tops So going back when the trees are smaller As an example year four shearing handles And everything labor was about 10 cents If you’re hiring out per tree uh year Eight when we were getting ready to Harvest them uh the labor on each tree Was about 65 cents uh per tree when You’re taking time to shear and work the Tops and get them ready for selling so That’s an example of how much more it Could cost but again if you’re doing it Yourself there might be a few cents cost In the wires and the sticks to tie the Tops and different things but The labor goes up significantly the Amount of time

Out in the field during shearing season Which is Mid-july to august out here The amount of time you put on the same Amount of trees is significantly higher When you go from trees That are belt high to trees that are Taller than you the amount the total Amount of tree is significantly larger So it takes a lot more time and a lot More labor Okay so the trees that we plant are Harvested this last year 2021 If they grew up as expected just normal Not anything spectacularly good or bad But Just a normal tree we were into them With materials and supplies two dollars And 32 cents If we had hired out the labor at the Going rate at the time it would have Added another three dollars and four Cents per tree uh For each tree so for a total of 536 We’re probably more in the four dollar Range because earlier on barry and i did More of the work ourselves but we Started hiring out more After that so it was 5 36 for a tree in The field ready to go Well the sun just came out hope you can See me under the In the shadows of my hat So

Barry and i you know we with us doing The labor and whatnot we’re probably at About four dollars and fifty cents for Costs and labors on the trees that we Grew you’re like wow that’s fantastic You know you sold your nobles for eighty Five dollars well there’s a couple other Things here once you have a tree ready To go you still have to ship it you have To get it in the hands of the buyer and You have to get the money in hand and Actually you’re going to find in the Next section here that that’s turns out For us to be the most expensive part of Growing christmas tree so we’re a u-cut Christmas tree farm and We aim to be and i believe i have not Seen anybody that has better service Than us as far as helping you when You’re we’re at the tree farm so you can Come on out we give you free hot Chocolate and candy canes you wander Around and you can just point to a tree And i have uh On good days eight guys out here uh Hoping we’ll cut your tree down for you Haul it up here we’ll put it on the Shaker and then we’ll put it in your Truck or on top of your car for you and You don’t even have to touch it we’ve Had guys come out and sip free hot Chocolate and never left their vehicle And pointed to it and we gave them a Tree and they just went home giggling

That they didn’t have to work and You don’t have to do that again you can Have i’ve seen christmas tree farms Where the there’s just the owner stands Out there and he just takes the money People go out cut their own tree down They haul it out and they they have no Help and you can have zero cost of labor There that’s fantastic most people are Between that extreme and where i’m at But uh So as an example of the cost field we Said it took about four dollars and Fifty cents to grow a christmas tree Well getting it out to the customer and Getting paid so It makes a huge difference and it almost Doubles the cost in some cases it does So for instance i had the crew out here This last uh winter and we thought we Were going to sell you know bait i’m Usually pretty accurate on how many Trees we’re going to sell in a day just From history and knowing our market and I was expecting one day to sell 200 Christmas trees and due to weather and Just a surprise in the market we only Sold about 120 christmas trees well even If we had sold 200 christmas trees i had Enough labor out here that it would have Cost me three dollars and fifteen cents Per tree with the labor to get that on The truck and so we’re still making a Good profit but you know if it costs

Four dollars and fifty cents to grow the Tree 315 to get it out that’s a lot But That’s if we had sold the 200 trees we Were expecting and we didn’t we only Sold about 120 trees so that ended up Being five dollars per tree in labor That To get the tree out and get the money in Hand and you know my workers love those Days where it’s slow because they’re Sitting around the fire uh cooking hot Dogs and s’mores and waiting for someone To come call them out and then at other Times they’re they’re a good crew i Don’t mean a bad mouth but when it gets Hot and heavy they’re they’re They’re shaking trees and running them Out and then they’re running out in the Field and there’s multiple chainsaws Running people hot on the hop everywhere But the customers don’t help you out and You know spread out throughout the day They there’s like very few people for a While and then this mad rush of people Come so you have to if you want to serve The customers the way i do you have to Staff up for the busy time not for the Lol time and so anyway This last year i ended up paying five Dollars per tree Uh just on the day that it was harvested Cut it and get it on the customer’s car So that puts us at about nine and a half

Dollars per christmas tree to grow Our christmas trees the way we do it all Right so that’s kind of what it cost me To grow a christmas tree just know that If you’re at a size where you could do Most of the labor yourself you’re going To save yourself a ton of money You are going to want to fertilize and You’re probably going to have some sort Of chemicals at some point in time and The cost of those are going up so i Cannot predict the future on that but Hopefully today you got at least a basic Idea of what it cost Me to grow our last christmas trees that We harvested and sold our nobles at 85 This next year we think we’re selling Our nobles at 100 a piece And uh Let me know especially those of you that Have harvested christmas trees how much Did it take you to grow a christmas tree And 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 Everyone and i hope your trees grow well For you

Tilt, Angle, and Offset - This Blade Does it All
Join Us To Get Daily Homesteading Tips!

We don’t spam!