Each spring we plant 3000 to 5000 Christmas tree seedlings. It takes at least seven to ten years to grow a seven to eight foot Christmas tree, depending on the variety. These trees must be cared for each year by fertilizing, eliminating competition from weeds and controlling for damage from insects and disease, but by far the greatest loss of young trees is due to drought and prolonged high Summer temperatures. After the trees are two to four feet tall they must be trimmed by hand each year so they will develop the desired shape and fullness. Only about half of the trees we plant ever develop into saleable Christmas trees. Like a lot of things, tree farming is more difficult than it may seem.
If you visit the Christmas Farm this year you may notice some vacant
fields that weren’t there last year. During the spring and summer of 2017 we harvested the Red and White Pine plantations on these fields and cleared them to allow for planting of Christmas trees in the future. With over twelve acres available we should be able to plant over 15,000 seedlings. These additional trees should ensure that we have adequate numbers available to sell well into the future.
In addition to the land devoted to growing Christmas trees, we have about 40 acres of planted White and Red Pine plantations, some more than fifty years old. These trees are being managed for pulpwood, lumber products, and utility poles. Our farm also has over 180 acres of natural forests, a mix of both hardwoods (oak and hickory) and softwoods (Red and White Pine). We have had several timber harvests during our ownership of this property. We have always sought the advice of professional foresters in these sales in order to ensure our goals of sustainable forestry and enhanced wildlife habitat.
The Christmas Farm has been in the Miller family for close to 60 years. Three generations of our family have been involved with growing trees. The Christmas Farm covers 310 acres in the beautiful Coulee region of western Wisconsin.
We are members of the Wisconsin Christmas Tee Producers Association and the Christmas Tree Promotion Board. We also belong to Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, the American Tree Farm System, the Bell Timber Management Assistance Program, and The Farm Bureau.