Should you start a Christmas tree farm. 3 positives and 3 negatives to think about.

Hello rob here from the flanigan Homestead i’m here i want to answer one Question and then tell a story about my Farm uh People are wanting to know i see it all The time on groups that i’m in or on my Youtube channel because i do a lot of Christmas tree stuff on my channel is sh People are asking should i grow a Christmas tree farm what’s it like What’s it going to take so i’m going to Share a couple positives a couple Negatives things to think about and then I’m going to tell you the story of the Starting my farm and now we’re 20 years Approximately 20 years into christmas Tree farming and some of the good and The bad and as you’ve just listened to The story you might ponder how that Might affect you or not affect you in The situation that you’re in so i wanted To do this out in the field but uh time Got away from me it’s a little bit dark And it is just pouring down rain today Hallelujah here in the pacific northwest We have the hottest driest summer we’ve Ever had uh today it is rained my rain Gate says almost three inches of rain Today And that’s more rain than we’ve had here And probably the last four months Combined and it was it’s just been an Incredibly dry year but we’ve got rain Okay so christmas trees i want to jump

Right to three positive things uh and Three negative things about having a Christmas tree form obviously this is Not a comprehensive list but these are The three things that stand out to me Then i’m going to tell my story First of all the positive thing is the Money Now that my tree farm is established i’m 20 years in i have customers i have Trees uh for the amount of time i put in The field i do make good money i don’t Have the exact statistics but You if you establish a good farm and Have a good customer base uh You do make some pretty good money uh When you When you get to that point uh number two The part of the reason if i could go Back in time since someone said would You do a christmas tree farm again i’d Say absolutely yes and one of the real Positive things that has happened on my Christmas tree farm is i planted when my Kids were really young they were Actually too young To Help at the time but they my kids grew Up Uh age appropriately helping on the Christmas tree farm to when they’re you Know in junior high in high school they Did a lot of work they earned money uh They did a lot of work and they learned

To work and they learned to work with me And i enjoyed doing that with my sons And now when uh They go and work for other people i Often get reports they say rob your boys Know how to work and it really makes me Proud and i know that they’re going to Be in a good place in life that they can Go and take care of What they need to take care of follow Directions work hard and get things done One of the other positive things about Teaching my boys to work is i could Control the schedule All my sons were very good athletes Did a good job athletically but they Were supposed to be lifting with their Teams during the summer and you know Sometimes Traveling the aau basketball circuit or Whatever else it is supposed to be Expected of them in the summer to for Their sports teams and so I could tell my boys well you want to go To this you want to go to this well it’s Going to take this many hours of sharing To get these many rows done we have to Have this many rows done by this time so Let’s set a schedule so they would get Up at five in the morning if they want To and you know sometimes they’d get up At five and shear till uh ten or even Nine o’clock and then their morning left The team would go lift at ten so they

They could shear trees from five to nine And get four hour shifts in and then go Do Uh their sports stuff and then Come back you know then the next day if We did enough days we knew that we could Get it done uh so we start enough days In advance or we could come back in the Evening and do it but uh they knew that They had to get it done but that I was willing to work the schedule so That they could work get get it done and Get to uh you know travel with their Tournament basketball team or whatever It is Okay and then the third positive thing That about having a christmas tree farm Is i get to be a part of people’s Christmases christmas is a wonderful Joyful time of year and i get to be a Part of people’s christmases and share Smiles and hot chocolate and laughs and Joy and uh Whether you Know or Not Whether you like christmas farming the Trees themselves but it’s more about the People than the trees Any business you’re in it’s more about The people than the product and always Be good to people and you’re going to Reap the rewards of that and don’t do it For selfish reasons but just be good to

People because you should be and And i found even when i i was generous To where i thought it was going to Really hurt It ends up coming back and rewarding me In the end one way or another and Actually usually financially so even When we make donations to charity or Whatnot somehow It all circles back around and it Positive it positively benefits us so be Good to people but uh going back to my Story personally if you’re like me And most people in life uh you have Friends that you get busy and they move Even if it’s not that far away You don’t see them all the time and i Have a lot of friends now that i see Once a year and they come out to my Christmas tree farm and they get a Christmas tree from me and they say hey Rob how’s the boys doing how’s your wife And i get to catch up on how their kids Are doing and where they are in life and A lot of times i’m really busy and i Don’t get to carry on a real good Conversation but i get to see him i get To share a smile and a hug and And get to be part of their christmas And their joy So i love Being part of Christmas and other people whether they Were strangers before they came to my

Farm And we’ve become friends or they’re just Friends that i’ve had for a long time And they come back out Being part of people’s christmases is a Fantastic part of owning a christmas Tree farm Okay here’s the three big negative Things that uh i would say about Christmas tree farming number one I say it’s profitable now you have to Wait 10 years before you’re in the black Financially You plant trees and you wait and you Plant trees more trees and you wait and You fertilize them and you shear them And you keep putting money into them and If you need to hire a crew as If it’s a larger one you’re putting Money into that and you are going to put Out money for a long time now if you uh Do a Wholesale and you do you know you just Take out the field at once or in like a Two or three year span then you get that All that money back more quickly but if You do a u-cut You know You’re gonna make start making sales Maybe six years in depending on the Types of trees and how fast they grow And then you’re going to Build up your customer base and then You’re going to start making back money

And you know we had tons of customers by Year three because we’re really good People and people liked our trees and Word of mouth and it really grew so we Were selling Lots and lots of trees by year three and By then we had started to get back our Money and so Now we’re paying back all that debt that We had Well we weren’t in debt but we had it But the money that went into it we were Getting that all back and now we’re Turning a profit so uh but you’ve got to Be patient it’s probably realistically Going to be about 10 years before you Have more money that have has come back Into your christmas tree farm than you Put into it okay but it but at that Point the profits start getting really Good if you’re running a good farm Okay the other one is uh You know From thanksgiving christmas is really Busy time for almost everyone it seems Like some people are stressed when it Comes to christmas time because You know there’s just so much going on There’s parties there’s this and that Preparing for christmas and and they Don’t even have a christmas tree farm Well if you have a christmas tree farm Thanksgiving You know around here this is when

Everybody opens up actually this last Year we started opening up a little bit The week before thanksgiving We still wait until the day after Thanksgiving but uh From the day after thanksgiving until When you run out of trees or however Long you want to open fortunately we do This we make enough sales through the First two weekend and we’re we’ve Got enough customers they’ll come out on Weekends that we’re Just doing weekends now and we can sell The trees that we want thanksgiving Weekend and the first two weekends in December and then shut it down but you Are if you don’t like the busyness of Life between thanksgiving and christmas Don’t have a christmas tree farm because You’re going to be really busy uh and Really tired uh working uh all those Hours uh selling christmas trees And last what i have here Oh Finding good help i planted my you know My trees i’m about 20 years into my Farm uh i’ve had trees before that on my Own personal property but on my Commercial christmas tree farm i planted My first trees about 20 years ago i was A lot younger then okay i’m 53 now and Still in pretty good shape and can still Do some pretty good work but i don’t Have the same energy that i had when i

Was 33 Now at 53. I you know so and my farm is bigger There’s more sharing to do and like i Said i had my boys and i raised my boys To work and they went from young not Being able to do much to be in great Help to now uh you know they’re all Adults and they have lives of their own And you know one’s just moved to texas And so My help especially my sharing help is Really Hard to find right now and i have an Advantage i’m a school teacher and a Coach in the school system around here So i i know Especially as a coach i know who can get Work done and so i’ve hired a lot of my Former athletes to come and help me and I’ve been blessed because i have a Connection Through coaching to that i know which Young men can get it done and still it’s Hard to get enough good help you know And to train them to share a tree right You know it’s one thing planting or you Know everything has a technique and you Want it done right but uh you know we we Get My boys know how to share a tree really Good and i’ve had some other boys that Came up through high school that were Really good but then you know three or

Four years later they’re off into College and so i gotta find new help and So finding help As you get older And as your farm gets larger to continue To get the trees sheared Is difficult now if if you’re going to Be big enough that you have full-time Help or you’re just doing this in the Summer you can get it done but if you Have another job and you got to come and Do it in the evenings or the weekends It’s going to be tough Okay i told you at the start of this Video that i was gonna do the three Positives and three negatives and then Tell you my story on how i became a Christmas tree farmer Uh this video is getting a little bit Longer than i like to do i like to stay At about 10 minutes so i’m gonna do Another video i’ll put the thumbnail Here at the end screen and uh which will Be so you can watch my story on how i Got into christmas tree farming and The 30 25 years later now having a Commercial farm

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