It’s Never Too Late to Give Up on Your Dreams

Why my Christmas tree farm failed

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[Music] When we bought this 20 acre property I Had a dream of turning it into a Christmas tree Farm that would be a place that my Family built memories for Decades the plan was to get a sawmill And build our own rustic Barn that would Serve as a gift shop and a tree wrapping Area where we could sell hot chocolate I Also wanted a pond with a bridge and a Windmill for pictures and just a Scenic Backdrop and some of that has worked out And some of it hasn't all right dump it All around It okay now now put put the shovel down Buddy so now we got to take it like this And spread it around it we've been on The property three and 1/2 years the First year we planted 250 trees the Second year we planted 250 trees in the Spring and another 250 in the fall Giving us a total of 750 trees here you See my son-in-law my grandson and my Granddaughter helping me plant trees And we made it a little bit of a family Affair and I really was loving the Process at this point but it's just part Of life that nothing works out perfectly All the time there are dear prints Everywhere and you can see where they've Been eating on the tree branches over The last 10 years I've ran several Different businesses some more

Profitable than others and they all have Have their own types of pitfalls and Maybe things you don't expect going into It what I learned very quickly is it's Harder than you might think to grow Christmas trees what you see here is my First attempt to water them using an IBC Tote filled with pond water and a garden Hose connected to that tote and these Were some really small trees which I Didn't realize as I ordered them but Keeping them watered during a drought Was one major problem it takes Christmas Tree 7 to 10 years to grow large enough that You can sell them and over the course of That 7 to 10 years you have to keep them Mowed you have to keep them watered and You have to keep them alive and adding All that together translates to a lot of Work and besides that you have to prune Them and shape them because they don't Automatically take that Christmas tree Shape and pull these out like this grab Them pull them out so there's nothing Next to our Treat okay you want to do the next one So there is a lot of work involved but I Feel like this could be a really Rewarding way to earn a side income or a Full income especially during retirement And especially if the kids and the Grandkids take an interest in it and Today as I'm making the decision that I

May give up on this dream it's still a Little bit emotional to me because I Love the idea of operating a Christmas Tree farm on this property but as I said Earlier the ideal of something doesn't Always match up to the reality I won't Fall from this End another lesson I learned too late is That you have to be very selective about The species of trees you get and get Soil tests so that you can predict Whether or not your trees Will Survive And Thrive Okay why don't you step over here and Get some and I'll get it off this part I'll this part yeah give Me me like you Have here you can see I've got a lot of The family out helping me plant and Spread the mulch around them this was a Great day it was actually a gender Reveal party for grandkid number five And following that we had all our trees In the ground it was a perfect evening And we got a double rainbow this would Have been Springtime about 18 months ago And at that point I would have told you That the Christmas tree farm was a huge Success and it's been pretty much Downhill since this is going going to be Kind of hard to see but this is a sign That my parents made for me as a Christmas gift like 2 years ago not that Long after we moved here and it was

Supposed to go out at the front of the Property and I've never put it up that's Because I had a feeling that maybe this Wasn't going to work so you can See it's a 4T by 8T sign supposed to put Poles out by the road to let people know That this is where they stopped to get The Christmas Trees and I was planning it I was Thinking yeah I'll probably get that Done here's what I need I'll get the Augur I was planning it out and then I Was seeing what was happening with the Trees and thinking this just this may Never happen so I didn't put the sign [Music] Up I've got the brush cutter on the tractor I'm going to walk that field with you Guys one more time and then make a Decision but I'm I think I'm just going To mow all my trees down and just scrap The whole thing I I don't like doing That but I think I'm going to so what You see behind me is my Christmas tree Field or what's left of it and before I Go through the whole story let's just Take a look and see how many trees we Can find right Now so we should have rows every 6 feet With trees in Them and from Here I can't see Any okay here we go

So there is a Christmas Tree And there's a Christmas Tree so if we have a tree right there There should be in a straight line there Should be more trees so we've got one Here We have one Here we have a tree Here so we found five Trees Okay we have a tree right Here so there's a tree behind me so Walking straight this Way I should find about six more okay Here's One here's one so the way this happened Is I put in the work to plant these Trees and I maintained them the first Year and then I planted a lot more and We had a drought it was really hot and Really dry and one day I drove by here And almost every tree we had planted was Dead I would say probably 2/3 of those I'm thinking we planted 750 trees and 2/3 of them had Died and I was just depressed I just Kind of said I'm throwing in the towel I Don't think this is going to work then I Got over it and I said well what I'll do Is just let the these other ones stay And just watch them see what happens and If if a percentage of them are making it I can do more research learn what kind

Of trees to plant and maybe set up Irrigation make decisions you know Readjust and start Over and so I've waited about another Year from then and what I should have Done obviously is keep it mowed keep it Maintained and really watch the trees But I was just bummed out on it and I I Was kind of giving up on it and I said I'm just gonna leave it alone and I'll Come down here and clean it up I decided Today was the day that I come down and Clean this whole area up so I came out Here this morning and I walked a pretty Big section and I only found one Tree I said forget it I'm just going to Mow the whole thing I was bummed out Again I went and sat down and I had a Meeting scheduled for today I made some Shorts and said I'm just going to go out There tonight and mow the whole thing Down and just give up on it and turn This back into a Hayfield but as I just Walked it again with the camera I found At least six trees this time and I was Thinking I've got those memories of the Fact that this was a big dream of mine I Kind of sold the dream to the family and The grandkids and the grandkids helped Me plant these Trees I thought what if I Find 10 trees a dozen trees out there And then transplant those Trees up by the

House and just grow those trees and Within a few years from now we can start Taking the biggest one every year is our Family Christmas tree and that will make A neat fun Tradition that isn't the grand scheme of What I wanted but it might still be Pretty Neat so I've recorded this and I've Talked about it and I've given it a lot Of thought and I've changed my mind Twice Today this morning I was going to still Have a Christmas tree farm the afternoon I was just going to wash my hands of it And now I'm going to commit to tomorrow Seeing what I can salvage out of this And I'm almost locked into the idea that We're just going to have our own plot of Family Christmas trees and go from there But because I don't think I want to Commit to the lifestyle involved in Having a Christmas tree farm it's a lot Of work and it's a lot of time and it it Transforms your land and I just am not Sure if I want to commit to that Recorded a sign off for the video said I'm bummed out that the Christmas tree Farm didn't Work And was kind of bummed I'm walking up Here and the more I walk the better I Feel about this new idea that I'm going To grow Christmas trees just for my own

Family maybe extended family just maybe The family that lives here but I think That would be a great project that's Actually manageable and fun instead of Overwhelming and trying to make a profit 10 years from now so now I feel great About it and I appreciate you taking Time to watch the video I'll put links On the screen to a couple more of our Videos and I'll see you next time

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