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Tree farming

Discussion in 'Nurseries and Growers' started by Gene $immons, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    I have around 4000 square foot of yard space outside of my shop where I would like to grow some trees. I want to buy the trees small and cheap and let them grow for 4 or 5 years before selling them.

    Has anyone done something like this, and what advice do you have on the kind of trees, the containers required, and the spacing between trees. I figured that I would only be able to order around 70 to 80 trees due to the area I'm working with.

    I have also requested some information from one of the larger wholesale growers in our state.

  2. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Check out high caliper or rootmaker in ground grow bags. Grow things that you need. I opted for fast growing screen type and other trees I use a lot of and also stuff that I cannot buy cheap. Usually if you buy 2.5" plants you usually have minimums of each variety. May have to go with 1 gallon if you want to grow a variety.
  3. treemover

    treemover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    Try forest keeling nursery nw of st louis. They 3 gal rpm trees almost any kind you want. Good products.

    Good Luck
  4. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,578

    you'll likely need to be permitted and inspected by your state's dept of ag
  5. quickmow

    quickmow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    I would not grow trees, too much time tying up your valuable and limited space. However, perennials turn quick and you can pack a lot into that small space. I would buy perennial liners bare root or plugs, grow them for one season and then use them on jobs. We have been doing that for a few years now and it saves a lot of time going to nursery only to be told they don't have the variety or quantity that you need. Plus, you make good money on them. More $$/sf than trees, I can guarantee you that.
  6. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    good points...thanks
  7. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Quickmow, Do you have some figures to back that up? I would be interested how you come up with that.
  8. quickmow

    quickmow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    For trees:
    4000 SF = 160 trees at 5' x 5' spacing (assume pot in pot growing system)
    160 trees x $150 each = $24000 gross after 2-3 years growing time to 2" cal.
    Liners cost $2400 ($15 each) Pots and growing media cost?

    For Perennials (one gallon size):
    1.5 per SF = 6000 gallon size pots grown for one season and sold at $6.00 each = $42000 gross
    Liner cost is $9000 (at $1.50 each) = $33,000 net in one year

    Of course, deduct your labor and materials costs for both scenarios, but you see where this is going. We grow a lot of hosta, daylily, rudbeckia, and echinacea - all of which we use a lot and now don't have to go to the nursery to get these.
  9. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Sorry to ask a dumb question. What are the liners, and what is their purpose?
  10. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    I see where you are coming from. But, most small companies will not come close to using 6000 perrenials a year. I would say planting and caring for 6000 perenials would be a whole lot more labor intensive than 160 trees. Still probably would come out better but maybe not as good as your numbers.

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