Sunday, February 25, 2018

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Wilderness Realty, Inc.

Maine Land Sales Specialists


Christmas Trees

Another “cottage industry” in Maine that will provide a woodlot owner with income.  There are two ways to approach this.  The first is to plant seedlings, preferably balsam fir, in a field or cleared area.  Seedlings can be purchased from nurseries or government agencies.  The Penobscot County Soil and Water Conservation District is one such agency that offers an annual tree and shrub sale in the spring.  A 6’ X 6’ spacing is sufficient to provide enough room for the trees to spread.

Another source is wild trees.  Simply walk your property in early spring and carefully dig up 6-10” fir seedlings for transplanting.  Good places to look are along woods roads, trails and openings.  Transplant them soon after harvesting.

If you have an area with established fir regeneration 2+ feet in height, thin out the stand to the desired 6’ X 6’ spacing.  Favor healthy looking trees with good needle growth.

To get your trees in the traditional Christmas-tree shape, you need to prune every year.  Mid June is the best time when new growth is established but not yet “budded out”.  A hedge trimmer is a good tool for this purpose.  A manual one is fine for a small grove of trees, for a larger operation this task will be easier with a power (electric or gas) trimmer.  They key to trimming is to start shaping the tree in the traditional shape when the trees are still small.  Cut the leaders when the trees are about 3 feet tall to promote bushy growth.

I have about 140 trees that I have been planting in rotation for the past 16 years.  Some are from wild stock and others were purchased.  I can trim up the trees with a hand trimmer in about 12 hours; though it is taking longer now that I have more large trees.  I have been selling a few each year on a “cut your own basis”.  Of course each year we get to pick out the best one for our own use.

Fir trees will easily grow on most land.  Our listings at are excellent candidates for growing Christmas trees.  Check out our inventory!