stories of my christmas tree farm

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sodgod, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. sodgod

    sodgod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    pete's christmas tree farm. ya it's not mine personally but i do work there and work like its mine. the owner gives me alot of responisiblities. Its my 5th year and i love it. I would like to start one someday. Nothing like good old back breaking work in freezing temperatures. The only thing that gets to me is when people complain about the prices. They don't understand whats involved in just one tree. well if anyone out there wants to know keep reading. plant it, trim it every year for about 8 years to get the 7' tree, then tag them, cut them down, drive the tractor around and bail them up, come by with the other kabota tractor and load the bailed ones onto the trailer, then unload them onto the 18' tandom trailer pulled by a 2002 f-250, load about 300-350 trees onto one load, drive 45 minutes away to the lot that we have in my home town where we sell them, unload them in the back, then when sales start bring them up to 1 of the 2 barns and cut the strings that bailed them up, trim them, price them take them to either of the two barns of out side to tie them onto a stake. them when some one wants to buy it, cut it off the stake and shake the loose needles off, bail it up, fresh cut, and then to their car. yup one tree. now thats why your picture perfect tree costs anywhere from 30-50$. gas has gone up, insurance, and other labor prices. every year we cut and haul around 3,800 trees and bring them to the sales lot. lots of work but its a beautiful thing waking up and going out to the farm at 8 in the morning, the sweet smell of desiel exaust mixed gas and bar chain oil and the sound of sthil chainsaws and kabota tractors. (3 of them) heres some pictures of me at work and the farm. ask any questions you want.

    petes farm barn2.jpg

    kabota.JPG

    bailer.JPG

    loading trailer.JPG

    loading trailer2.JPG
     
  2. jaybird

    jaybird LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 272

    sounds like a neat job. glad you like it.
     
  3. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,807

    i was always curious, how much do you make off an tree on average?
     
  4. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    Thanks for posting that. I enjoyed that and I showed the pics to my little girl. My wife asked why you commented on the smell of deisel fuel and chainsaws and not the smell of the tree's, Lol! I said cause he's a landscaper for cryin out loud! Lol! Merry Christmas!
     
  5. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    cool pics. kind of different. not many people post stuff about tree farms. i always love the smell of tree farms
     
  6. desert rose gardening

    desert rose gardening LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    I have a 15 acre ranch and have talked about planting 5 or so in Christmas trees, maybe when I retire. Hey Sodgod could you ask the owner how many trees he has per acre?
     
  7. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    I'd be planting those suckers right now! By the time you retire you'll be sittin on a small goldmine IMO !!
     
  8. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    3000 trees x $50 = $150,000
     
  9. mowingmachine

    mowingmachine LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    I worked on a tree farm for 4 years. It's been about 10 years ago now. I never worked during the summer just during the winter from about the first of November up until Christmas. Most of our sales were right at the tree farm. I loved it. It was hard work but at the end of the day you felt like you did something. It was the kind of work that seperated the men from the boys. We would do trees from about 5 feet up to about 15 feet. Ever had to shake a 15 foot tree. Most of the time a two man job. The majority of the sales we did were Scotch pines which can get pretty full. We had a bailer almost exactly like the one you are using. Ours always had a problem that if you pulled a tree all the way to the end of the table it would snap the cable. My boss would get so pissed off when that happened and it always happened to the new guys. We would have lines of people waiting to have their trees bailed while the cable was replaced. I know exactly what you mean by the smell of desiel fuel and chain saw. One of the best parts of the job where all the girls that would come out. The hotter the girls the more the guys would fight over who was going to take care of their trees. Anyway your pictures brought back some very memorable moments that I thought I would share.

    Mowingmachine
     
  10. burnandreturn

    burnandreturn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Germany
    Posts: 303

    I think the highlight of our Christmas is when we go to the Christmas tree farm about 30 miles away. We show up, have a cup of hot spicey cider. Then we pile onto the flatbed trailer pulled by a tractor and they haul us out to the field where the trees are for that year. Then the search is on for the perfect tree to cut down. Then the now 12 year old daughter uses a buck saw and struggles to cut the tree down. We take pictures and have a ball. The tractor comes back, we load the tree and go back to the barn. They shake and bale the tree, we drink some more cider and hit the road. They have a wood carver that carves the butt end of the tree. After Christmas is over we cut about 15 inches of the trunk off and take it to them. He carves a Santa into the tree. Don't get the carving back until about a month before next Christmas. We line them up on the mantle. Best part of Christmas. Real family fun.
     

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