How to Start a Tree Farm

How to Start a Tree Farm

If you own acreage, you should consider starting a tree farm. The American Christmas Tree Association  reports the average price for a tree was $74 in 2017. The average number on a farm was 200 trees equaling $14,800. Looking for a Christmas tree farm for sale is one option.

Here’s how to start a tree farm that grows other kinds too.

Starting a Tree Farm

Buy Some Land or Set Some Aside

It makes sense that the first thing you will need to be a tree farmer is some land. If you already own some acreage, you’ll need to designate a part of your farm for trees. Fallow land that’s not being used for anything else or other crops is best.

If you’re starting from scratch, buying a wooded piece of property can get you started. That way you can sell the lumber that’s already there. Make sure there is only a slight slope to any land you want to buy. That way water will pool slightly and not just run downhill.

Land that’s already been used for a crop is a good buy.

Patience is important. Most types of trees that are worth money take eight years before they are big enough to harvest.

Start a Nursery

Another option is to start a nursery. It only takes a few years to have enough young trees to sell. This is a good option for an urban tree farm.

Decide on the Tree Types

Starting a tree farm begins with some careful decisions. Some people start looking for a Christmas tree farm for sale. But there are other types of trees that you can make money on. Fruit and lumber trees are popular choices, but they don’t grow everywhere.

It all depends on the area of the country where you live. That goes for people who are looking to start an urban tree farm like a nursery too.

If you are wondering how to start a tree farm, you can choose to grow trees for lumber. These need to grow fast and the best choices are hardwood trees like birch and cherry.  Wondering how to start a Christmas tree farm?

These can be ready to go in as little as a decade.

Picking the right market is an important part of deciding what to grow

Look After the Trees

You might be looking for a Christmas tree farm for sale or starting an apple tree farm. It doesn’t matter since you need to know how to look after your trees.

Applying mulch, watering and fertilizing are critical so they grow. Stake them for the first year so they don’t blow over. And don’t forget to prune them to improve the space between branches.

Choose the Market

If there’s a farmer’s market close, an apple tree farm makes perfect sense. This is a good idea if you decided on trees that grow fruits and nuts too. Talk with local builders if you’re growing trees for lumber.

Greenhouses and nurseries are the people to connect with if you’re going to grow landscaping trees.

Get the Right Equipment

You always need the right tools for any job. And becoming a tree farmer is no exception. You can rent or buy the following, but you will need to shop for these tools to make your tree farm successful.

Look for a Good Tractor

A good tractor will help you to till and plow the soil. Remember you need to leave 6 feet on all sides  between trees so they grow properly. If you’re just starting out and you want to rent, make sure to get a few quotes. These can go by the number of hours you’ll need the machine.

Here’s a good blog that tells you what to look for if you’re planning on buying a used tractor.

Invest in a Tree Auger

You will need one of these to make the holes to plant the trees. Make sure that you find an auger designed for this purpose. It should be marked as a tree auger. It needs to do specific things like leaving enough room for backfilling after you planted the tree.

There are other items you’ll need too like a chainsaw and a trailer. The chainsaw is for pruning and cutting the trees down. The trailer is for hauling your trees and other tools around.

Research Certifications

There are several certifications to go for and groups you can join.

The American Tree Farm System has a five step process for certification. The Government offers some incentives for tree farmers that want to grow things like fruit here.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "How to Start a Tree Farm" was first published on Small Business Trends



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