Christmas

Inside the World of Christmas Tree Farming

Inside the World of Christmas Tree Farming

Christmas Tree Farming He’s not kidding: The competition for the United States’ $1 billion Christmas tree industry is fierce. Each year farmers who sell directly to customers must go head to head with tree lots and big box stores like Home Depot – the largest seller of Christmas trees – who offer low discounts and convenient locations.

Like many other small farmers, Christmas tree sellers have realized that it’s customer relationships – not slashed prices – that will keep them in business. “

In addition to the usual Santa Claus appearances, hot cider and cocoa, Moore provides pony-pulled tree-sleighs and a 40-foot “mulch mountain” for kids, made partially out of old Christmas trees. On select weekends, you can even get fluffy Newfoundland dogs to pull your Christmas tree out of the plantation and straight to your car.

At Evergreen Farms in Texas, they offer a petting zoo, pine cone painting and a campfire where people can warm up after cutting their trees. Beth Walterscheidt, one of the farm’s owners, estimates that they see 75 to 80 percent of their customers return each year.

But while the market is big, there are significant risks with evergreen growing. Christmas trees require year-round maintenance, they take seven to ten years to grow and they have a sales season little more than a month long. If you still have cut trees sitting around on Christmas Day, you could find yourself barely breaking even for the year. Some farmers like Walterscheidt and Moore are retired from previous careers and rely on Christmas tree sales as a sole source of working income.

 

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