How to write a business plan for a Christmas tree farm?

christmas tree farm business plan

Putting together a business plan for a Christmas tree farm can be daunting - especially if you're creating a business for the first time - but with this comprehensive guide, you'll have the necessary tools to do it confidently.

We will explore why writing one is so important in both starting up and growing an existing Christmas tree farm, as well as what should go into making an effective plan - from its structure to content - and what tools can be used to streamline the process and avoid errors.

Without further ado, let us begin!

In this guide:

Why write a business plan for a Christmas tree farm?

  • What information is needed to create a business plan for a Christmas tree farm?
  • How do I build a financial forecast for a Christmas tree farm?

The written part of a Christmas tree farm business plan

  • What tool should I use to write my Christmas tree farm business plan?

Understanding the document's scope and goals will help you easily grasp its structure and content. Before diving into the specifics of the plan, let's take a moment to explore the key reasons why having a Christmas tree farm business plan is so crucial.

To have a clear roadmap to grow the business

Small businesses rarely experience a constant and predictable environment. Economic cycles go up and down, while the business landscape is mutating constantly with new regulations, technologies, competitors, and consumer behaviours emerging when we least expect it.

In this dynamic context, it's essential to have a clear roadmap for your Christmas tree farm. Otherwise, you are navigating in the dark which is dangerous given that - as a business owner - your capital is at risk.

That's why crafting a well-thought-out business plan is crucial to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your venture.

To create an effective business plan, you'll need to take a step-by-step approach. First, you'll have to assess your current position (if you're already in business), and then identify where you'd like your Christmas tree farm to be in the next three to five years.

Once you have a clear destination for your Christmas tree farm, you'll focus on three key areas:

  • Resources: you'll determine the human, equipment, and capital resources needed to reach your goals successfully.
  • Speed: you'll establish the optimal pace at which your business needs to grow if it is to meet its objectives within the desired timeframe.
  • Risks: you'll identify and address potential risks you might encounter along the way.

By going through this process regularly, you'll be able to make informed decisions about resource allocation, paving the way for the long-term success of your business.

To get visibility on future cash flows

If your small Christmas tree farm runs out of cash: it's game over. That's why we often say "cash is king", and it's crucial to have a clear view of your Christmas tree farm's future cash flows.

So, how can you achieve this? It's simple - you need to have an up-to-date financial forecast.

The good news is that your Christmas tree farm business plan already includes a financial forecast (which we'll discuss further in this guide). Your task is to ensure it stays current.

To accomplish this, it's essential to regularly compare your actual financial performance with what was planned in your financial forecast. Based on your business's current trajectory, you can make adjustments to the forecast.

By diligently monitoring your Christmas tree farm's financial health, you'll be able to spot potential financial issues, like unexpected cash shortfalls, early on and take corrective actions. Moreover, this practice will enable you to recognize and capitalize on growth opportunities, such as excess cash flow enabling you to expand to new locations.

To secure financing

Whether you are a startup or an existing business, writing a detailed Christmas tree farm business plan is essential when seeking financing from banks or investors.

This makes sense given what we've just seen: financiers want to ensure you have a clear roadmap and visibility on your future cash flows.

Banks will use the information included in the plan to assess your borrowing capacity (how much debt your business can support) and your ability to repay the loan before deciding whether they will extend credit to your business and on what terms.

Similarly, investors will review your plan carefully to assess if their investment can generate an attractive return on investment.

To do so, they will be looking for evidence that your Christmas tree farm has the potential for healthy growth, profitability, and cash flow generation over time.

Now that you understand why it is important to create a business plan for a Christmas tree farm, let's take a look at what information is needed to create one.

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Information needed to create a business plan for a Christmas tree farm

You need the right data in order to project sales, investments and costs accurately in the financial forecast of your Christmas tree farm business plan.

Below, we'll cover three key pieces of information you should gather before drafting your business plan.

Carrying out market research for a Christmas tree farm

Before you begin writing your business plan for a Christmas tree farm, conducting market research is a critical step in ensuring precise and realistic financial projections.

Market research grants you valuable insights into your target customer base, competitors, pricing strategies, and other crucial factors that can impact the success of your business.

In the course of this research, you may stumble upon trends that could impact your Christmas tree farm.

You may find that there is an increased demand for pre-cut Christmas trees, as many people may not have the time to go out and cut down their own. Additionally, your market research could reveal that customers might be more likely to purchase trees in bundles or with additional decorations, as they are looking for a full experience with their holiday decorations.

Such market trends play a pivotal role in revenue forecasting, as they provide essential data regarding potential customers' spending habits and preferences.

By integrating these findings into your financial projections, you can provide investors with more accurate information, enabling them to make well-informed decisions about investing in your Christmas tree farm.

Christmas tree farm: successful entrepreneurs

Developing the marketing plan for a Christmas tree farm

Before delving into your Christmas tree farm business plan, it's imperative to budget for sales and marketing expenses.

To achieve this, a comprehensive sales and marketing plan is essential. This plan should provide an accurate projection of the necessary actions to acquire and retain customers.

Additionally, it will outline the required workforce to carry out these initiatives and the corresponding budget for promotions, advertising, and other marketing endeavours.

By budgeting accordingly, you can ensure that the right resources are allocated to these vital activities, aligning them with the sales and growth objectives outlined in your business plan.

The staffing and capital expenditure requirements of a Christmas tree farm

Whether you are starting or expanding a Christmas tree farm, it is important to have a clear plan for recruitment and capital expenditures (investment in equipment and real estate) in order to ensure the success of the business.

Both the recruitment and investment plans need to be coherent with the timing and level of growth planned in your forecast, and require appropriate funding.

Staffing costs for a Christmas tree farm might include wages for a manager, seasonal staff to help with customer service, and a maintenance staff to handle daily tasks related to the farm. Equipment costs might include a tractor for harvesting trees, a truck to transport the trees, a crane for lifting heavy trees, a storage facility for storing trees, and a variety of tools for pruning and trimming.

In order to create a realistic financial forecast, you will also need to consider the other operating expenses associated with running the business on a day-to-day basis (insurance, bookkeeping, etc.). 

Once you have all the necessary information to create a business plan for your Christmas tree farm, it is time to start creating your financial forecast.

What goes into your Christmas tree farm's financial forecast?

The financial forecast of your Christmas tree farm will enable you to assess the profitability potential of your business in the coming years and how much capital is required to fund the actions planned in the business plan.

The four key outputs of a financial forecast for a Christmas tree farm are:

  • The profit and loss (P&L) statement ,
  • The projected balance sheet ,
  • The cash flow forecast ,
  • And the sources and uses table .

Let's take a closer look at each of these.

The projected P&L statement

The projected P&L statement for a Christmas tree farm shows how much revenue and profit your business is expected to make in the future.

example of projected profit and loss statement in a Christmas tree farm business plan

A healthy Christmas tree farm's P&L statement should show:

  • Sales growing at (minimum) or above (better) inflation
  • Stable (minimum) or expanding (better) profit margins
  • A healthy level of net profitability

This will of course depend on the stage of your business: numbers for a startup will look different than for an established Christmas tree farm.

The projected balance sheet of your Christmas tree farm

Your Christmas tree farm's forecasted balance sheet enables the reader of your plan to assess your financial structure, working capital, and investment policy.

It is composed of three types of elements: assets, liabilities and equity:

  • Assets: represent what the business owns and uses to produce cash flows. It includes resources such as cash, equipment, and accounts receivable (money owed by clients).
  • Liabilities: represent funds advanced to the business by lenders and other creditors. It includes items such as accounts payable (money owed to suppliers), taxes due and loans.
  • Equity: is the combination of what has been invested by the business owners and the cumulative profits and losses generated by the business to date (which are called retained earnings). Equity is a proxy for the value of the owner's stake in the business.

example of forecasted balance sheet in a Christmas tree farm business plan

Your Christmas tree farm's balance sheet will usually be analyzed in conjunction with the other financial statements included in your forecast.

Two key points of focus will be:

  • Your Christmas tree farm's liquidity: does your business have sufficient cash and short-term assets to pay what it owes over the next 12 months?
  • And its solvency: does your business have the capacity to repay its debt over the medium-term?

The cash flow forecast

As we've seen earlier in this guide, monitoring future cash flows is the key to success and the only way of ensuring that your Christmas tree farm has enough cash to operate.

As you can expect showing future cash flows is the main role of the cash flow forecast in your Christmas tree farm business plan.

example of projected cash flow forecast in a Christmas tree farm business plan

It is best practice to organise the cash flow statement by nature in order to show the cash impact of the following areas:

  • Cash flow generated from operations: the operating cash flow shows how much cash is generated or consumed by the business's commercial activities
  • Cash flow from investing activities: the investing cash flow shows how much cash is being invested in capital expenditure (equipment, real estate, etc.) either to maintain the business's equipment or to expand its capabilities
  • Cash flow from financing activities: the financing cash flow shows how much cash is raised or distributed to financiers

Looking at the cash flow forecast helps you to make sure that your business has enough cash to keep running, and can help you anticipate potential cash shortfalls.

Your Christmas tree farm business plan will normally include both yearly and monthly cash flow forecasts so that the readers can view the impact of seasonality on your business cash position and generation.

The initial financing plan

The sources and uses table or initial financing plan is a key component of your business plan when starting a Christmas tree farm.

It shows where the capital needed to set up the business will come from (sources) and how it will be spent (uses).

sources and uses table in a Christmas tree farm business plan

This table helps size the investment required to set up the Christmas tree farm, and understand how risks will be distributed between the business owners, and the financiers.

The sources and uses table also highlights what the starting cash position will be. This is key for startups as the business needs to have sufficient funding to sustain operations until the break-even point is reached.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what will go into the financial forecast of your Christmas tree farm business plan, let's have a look at the written part of the plan.

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The written part of a Christmas tree farm business plan is composed of 7 main sections:

  • The executive summary
  • The presentation of the company
  • The products and services
  • The market analysis
  • The strategy
  • The operations
  • The financial plan

Throughout these sections, you will seek to provide the reader with the details and context needed for them to form a view on whether or not your business plan is achievable and your forecast a realistic possibility.

Let's go through the content of each section in more detail!

1. The executive summary

The first section of your Christmas tree farm's business plan is the executive summary which provides, as its name suggests, an enticing summary of your plan which should hook the reader and make them want to know more about your business.

When writing the executive summary, it is important to provide an overview of the business, the market, the key financials, and what you are asking from the reader.

Start with a brief introduction of the business, its name, concept, location, how long it has been in operation, and what makes it unique. Mention any services or products you plan to offer and who you sell to.

Then you should follow with an overview of the addressable market for your Christmas tree farm, current trends, and potential growth opportunities.

You should then include a summary of your key financial figures such as projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.

Finally, you should detail any funding requirements in the ask section.

2. The presentation of the company

The second section in your Christmas tree farm's business plan should focus on the structure and ownership, location, and management team of the company.

The structure and ownership part provides an overview of the legal structure of the business, who the owners are and how much each has invested and owns. If you are seeking financing it is important that the reader gets a clear picture of which legal entity is receiving the funds, and who controls the business.

The location part should give an overview of the premises from which the company is operating, and why that location is of particular interest (catchment area, accessibility, amenities nearby, etc.).

When describing the location of your Christmas tree farm, you may want to focus on its potential to draw customers from the surrounding area. You could point out the presence of a major highway nearby, as well as other features like restaurants and shopping centers that could attract customers. Additionally, you may want to highlight the potential for a large population base, with plenty of households that could purchase your trees. Lastly, you could emphasize the potential for growth and success, as the local economy is strong and thriving.

Finally, you should introduce the management team. Explain each member's role, background, and experience.

It is also important to emphasize any past successes that the members of the management team have achieved, and how long they've been working together, as this will help potential lenders or investors understand why they should trust in their leadership.

3. The products and services section

The products and services section of your Christmas tree farm business plan should include a detailed description of what your company sells to its customers. 

For example, your Christmas tree farm might offer customers the opportunity to cut their own trees, tree delivery and set-up services, and a Christmas store with decorations and tree toppers. This would allow customers to have the traditional experience of cutting their own tree, while still being able to have it delivered and set-up in the home. Additionally, the on-site store would make it easier for customers to find decorations and tree toppers to further personalize their tree.

The reader will want to understand what makes your Christmas tree farm unique from other businesses in this competitive market.

When drafting this section, you should be precise about the categories of products or services you sell, the clients you are targeting and the channels that you are targeting them through. 

Christmas tree farm: products and services section

4. The market analysis

When you present your market analysis in your Christmas tree farm business plan, it's crucial to include detailed information about customers' demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and any relevant regulations.

The main objective of this section is to help the reader understand the size and attractiveness of the market while demonstrating your solid understanding of the industry.

Begin with the demographics and segmentation subsection, providing an overview of the addressable market for your Christmas tree farm, the key trends in the marketplace, and introducing different customer segments along with their preferences in terms of purchasing habits and budgets.

Next, focus on your target market, zooming in on the specific customer segments your Christmas tree farm aims to serve and explaining how your products and services fulfil their distinct needs.

For example, your target market might include families who are looking to make a special holiday-time memory. These customers prioritize environmental responsibility and the experience of selecting and cutting down their own tree, rather than buying a pre-cut tree from a store. They also enjoy the tradition of picking out the perfect tree and decorating it together as a family.

Then proceed to the competition subsection, where you introduce your main competitors and highlight what sets you apart from them.

Finally, conclude your market analysis with an overview of the key regulations applicable to your Christmas tree farm.

5. The strategy section

When crafting the strategy section of your business plan for your Christmas tree farm, it's important to cover several key aspects, including your competitive edge, pricing strategy, sales & marketing plan, milestones, and risks and mitigants.

In the competitive edge subsection, clearly explain what sets your company apart from competitors. This is particularly critical if you're a startup, as you'll be trying to establish your presence in the marketplace among entrenched players.

The pricing strategy subsection should demonstrate how you aim to maintain profitability while offering competitive prices to your customers.

For the sales & marketing plan, outline how you plan to reach and acquire new customers, as well as retain existing ones through loyalty programs or special offers.

In the milestones subsection, detail what your company has achieved thus far and outline your primary objectives for the coming years by including specific dates for expected progress. This ensures everyone involved has clear expectations.

Lastly, in the risks and mitigants subsection, list the main risks that could potentially impact the execution of your plan. Explain the measures you've taken to minimize these risks. This is vital for investors or lenders to feel confident in supporting your venture - try to proactively address any objection they might have.

Your Christmas tree farm could face a variety of risks. For example, you may experience a natural disaster that could damage or destroy your trees and other property. Additionally, you could face the risk of theft of your trees or other items on your farm. Taking measures to prepare for these risks, such as investing in insurance policies or installing security cameras, could help minimize these risks and help you protect your business.

6. The operations section

The operations of your Christmas tree farm must be presented in detail in your business plan.

The first thing you should cover in this section is your staffing team, the main roles, and the overall recruitment plan to support the growth expected in your business plan. You should also outline the qualifications and experience necessary to fulfil each role, and how you intend to recruit (using job boards, referrals, or headhunters).

You should then state the operating hours of your Christmas tree farm - so that the reader can check the adequacy of your staffing levels - and any plans for varying opening times during peak season. Additionally, the plan should include details on how you will handle customer queries outside of normal operating hours.

The next part of this section should focus on the key assets and IP required to operate your business. If you depend on any licenses or trademarks, physical structures (equipment or property) or lease agreements, these should all go in there.

You may have key assets such as the land that the Christmas tree farm is located on and the equipment used to cultivate, harvest, and transport the trees. Additionally, the farm could have intellectual property such as unique designs of Christmas trees or specialty trees that could only be found at the farm. These assets and IP could help the farm stand out from other Christmas tree farms and provide the farm with a competitive advantage.

Finally, you should include a list of suppliers that you plan to work with and a breakdown of their services and main commercial terms (price, payment terms, contract duration, etc.). Investors are always keen to know if there is a particular reason why you have chosen to work with a specific supplier (higher-quality products or past relationships for example).

7. The presentation of the financial plan

The financial plan section is where we will include the financial forecast we talked about earlier in this guide.

Now that you have a clear idea of the content of a Christmas tree farm business plan, let's look at some of the tools you can use to create yours.

What tool should I use to write my Christmas tree farm's business plan?

In this section, we will be reviewing the two main solutions for creating a Christmas tree farm business plan:

  • Using specialized online business plan software,
  • Outsourcing the plan to the business plan writer.

Using an online business plan software for your Christmas tree farm's business plan

Using online business planning software is the most efficient and modern way to create a Christmas tree farm business plan.

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

  • You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can access a library of dozens of complete business plan samples and templates for inspiration
  • You get a professional business plan, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
  • You can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast
  • You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
  • You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows
  • You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck

If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try The Business Plan Shop for free by signing up here .

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Screenshot from The Business Plan Shop's Financial Forecasting Software

Hiring a business plan writer to write your Christmas tree farm's business plan

Outsourcing your Christmas tree farm business plan to a business plan writer can also be a viable option.

Business plan writers are skilled in creating error-free business plans and accurate financial forecasts. Moreover, hiring a consultant can save you valuable time, allowing you to focus on day-to-day business operations.

However, it's essential to be aware that hiring business plan writers will be expensive, as you're not only paying for their time but also the software they use and their profit margin.

Based on experience, you should budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) excluding tax for a comprehensive business plan, and more if you require changes after initial discussions with lenders or investors.

Also, exercise caution when seeking investment. Investors prefer their funds to be directed towards business growth rather than spent on consulting fees. Therefore, the amount you spend on business plan writing services and other consulting services should be insignificant compared to the amount raised.

Keep in mind that one drawback is that you usually don't own the business plan itself; you only receive the output, while the actual document is saved in the consultant's business planning software. This can make it challenging to update the document without retaining the consultant's services.

For these reasons, carefully consider outsourcing your Christmas tree farm business plan to a business plan writer, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of seeking outside assistance.

Why not create your Christmas tree farm's business plan using Word or Excel?

I must advise against using Microsoft Excel and Word (or their Google, Apple, or open-source equivalents) to write your Christmas tree farm business plan. Let me explain why.

Firstly, creating an accurate and error-free financial forecast on Excel (or any spreadsheet) is highly technical and requires a strong grasp of accounting principles and financial modelling skills. It is, therefore, unlikely that anyone will fully trust your numbers unless you have both a degree in finance and accounting and significant financial modelling experience, like us at The Business Plan Shop.

Secondly, relying on spreadsheets is inefficient. While it may have been the only option in the past, technology has advanced significantly, and software can now perform these tasks much faster and with greater accuracy. With the rise of AI, software can even help us detect mistakes in forecasts and analyze the numbers for better decision-making.

And with the rise of AI, software is also becoming smarter at helping us detect mistakes in our forecasts and helping us analyse the numbers to make better decisions.

Moreover, software makes it easier to compare actuals versus forecasts and maintain up-to-date forecasts to keep visibility on future cash flows, as we discussed earlier in this guide. This task is cumbersome when using spreadsheets.

Now, let's talk about the written part of your Christmas tree farm business plan. While it may be less error-prone, using software can bring tremendous gains in productivity. Word processors, for example, lack instructions and examples for each part of your business plan. They also won't automatically update your numbers when changes occur in your forecast, and they don't handle formatting for you.

Overall, while Word or Excel may seem viable for some entrepreneurs to create a business plan, it's by far becoming an antiquated way of doing things.

  • A business plan has 2 complementary parts: a financial forecast showcasing the expected growth, profits and cash flows of the business; and a written part which provides the context needed to judge if the forecast is realistic and relevant.
  • Having an up-to-date business plan is the only way to keep visibility on your Christmas tree farm's future cash flows.
  • Using business plan software is the modern way of writing and maintaining business plans.

We hope that this practical guide gave you insights on how to write the business plan for your Christmas tree farm. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our team if you still have questions.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • In-depth business plan structure
  • Key steps to write a business plan?
  • Free business plan template

Know someone who owns or wants to start a Christmas tree farm? Share this article with them!

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

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Christmas Tree Farm

Back to All Business Ideas

How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm

Written by: Carolyn Young

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by: David Lepeska

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

Published on December 13, 2021 Updated on February 14, 2024

How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm

Investment range

$4,250 - $85,300

Revenue potential

$80,000 - $120,000 p.a.

Time to build

1 – 3 months

Profit potential

$76,000 - $114,000 p.a.

Industry trend

Christmas is a time to spread joy! Wouldn’t you like to spread joy by providing Christmas trees that delight young and old?

With a Christmas tree farm, you could do just that, and make a nice profit at the same time. The US Christmas tree market has nearly doubled in recent years, which is why Christmas tree shortages are not uncommon. You could take advantage of all that unmet demand with your own tree farm!

No business comes without challenges, however, even one as simple as a Christmas tree farm. Fortunately, this step-by-step guide will give you all the insight and information you’ll need to put you on the path to becoming a santa-preneur!

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Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons.

Every business has pros and cons, and they need to be carefully considered before you decide if a Christmas tree farm is right for you.

  • Good Money – Tree prices are up so you have more profit potential
  • Fun! – You get to be outdoors, smell that wonderful scent, and bring joy!
  • Eco-friendly – Trees are a renewable, recyclable resource
  • Seasonal – You’ll only make money for a few months a year
  • Competition – Many large stores sell Christmas trees
  • Time – Christmas trees take 8-10 years to grow to ideal maturity

Christmas tree industry trends

As many as 30 million Christmas trees are sold in the US each year, with about 350 million trees growing at any given time.(( ))

Demand remains strong for real Christmas trees, yet supply is low due to supply chain issues and climate change.(( )) This is good news for small Christmas tree farmers, giving them an advantage over the big stores like Lowe’s and Walmart, which rely on traditional supply chains. It’s also good news because it’s driving up prices by as much as 25%.

Industry size and growth

  • Industry size and past growth – Pre-pandemic sales of real Christmas trees in the US reached $2.56 billion in 2018.(( )) 
  • Growth forecast – The North American Christmas tree market is projected to grow at least 4% per year through 2027.(( ))
  • Number of businesses – The US is home to nearly 15,000 Christmas tree farms.
  • Number of people employed – Christmas tree farms employ more than 100,000 people.

christmas tree farm industry size and growth

Trends and challenges

Christmas tree industry trends include:

  • Buyers of real Christmas trees are younger, with the average age at 38 years old in 2020, 4 years younger than the average age of buyers in 2019(( ))
  • More urban dwellers are buying trees as the number of urban customers increased 8% in 2020 compared to 2019
  • Millennial households prefer real Christmas trees because these are biodegradable and sustainable

Challenges in the Christmas tree market include:

  • Tight supply as trees need 8-10 years to mature
  • Climate change and natural disasters

christmas tree farm Trends and Challenges

Consumer spending

  • Average consumer spend – The National Christmas Tree Association says US consumers spent an average of $76.87 on a real Christmas tree in the past decade.(( ))
  • Potential customer base – More than 26 million Americans got a real Christmas tree in 2019.(( ))
  • Average prices – In 2021, live Christmas trees cost $78 each while fake trees cost $104, according to the American Christmas Tree Association.(( ))

christmas tree farm industry consumer spending

What kind of people work in a Christmas tree farm?

An arborist is a tree doctor who treats tree diseases and other problems.

  • Gender – 93% of arborists in the US are male, while 7% are female.(( ))
  • Average level of education – Nearly half, or 45%, or arborists hold a bachelor’s degree.(( ))
  • Average age – The average age of an arborist is 41 years old.(( ))

christmas tree farm industry demographics

How much does it cost to start a Christmas tree farm?

Startup costs for a Christmas tree farm range from around $4,000 to $85,000. The high end includes purchasing land for your farm, so if you already own land you’re ahead of the game.

If you don’t have land, you could potentially enter a sharecropping agreement with a landowner. That means that you would essentially be a tenant of the landowner, grow your trees, and split the income.

What equipment do you need for a Christmas tree farm?

You’ll need a handful of items to launch your Christmas tree farm successfully. Here’s a list to help you get started:

  • Tractor (or you can pay a farmer to prep your land)
  • Pruning shears
  • Harvesting equipment
  • Tree balers
  • Trucks or trailers for transportation
  • Irrigation equipment

How much can you earn from a Christmas tree farm?

Setting aside the cost of farmland, the cost to grow a single tree is about $1, while the same tree can be sold for about $80, resulting in a more than 95% profit margin.

With 10 acres, after 8-10 years you could produce 1,000 trees. Assuming they all sell, you would bring in $80,000 in annual revenue and $76,000 in profit. As your brand gains recognition, you could add acreage and sales could climb to 1,500 trees a year. With expected annual revenue of $120,000, you would make about $114,000.

christmas tree farm business earnings forecast

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for a Christmas tree farm. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • Land – Acquiring land if you don’t already have it
  • Location – Your land must be convenient for a large market of people
  • Time – It takes 8-10 years for the trees to mature

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Step 2: hone your idea.

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a Christmas tree farm, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market.

Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.

Why? Identify an opportunity

Research your area for Christmas tree farms and identify which types of Christmas trees are most popular. Right now, in many areas the most popular types are firs and blue spruce. You’ll need to find out which trees grow best in the climate and soil type of your area, and then determine what trees you want to grow.

business plan for christmas tree farm

You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in one type of tree.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away.

What? Determine your products

In addition to trees, you could increase your revenue by selling other items. If you have enough land, you could even grow other types of trees and plants so that your business is less seasonal. Additional products might include:

  • Poinsettias
  • Christmas blankets and stands
  • Tree decorations
  • Christmas lights and other decorations

How much should you charge for Christmas trees?

The cost of a live Christmas tree is between $65 and $95 with the average tree costing around $80. Your costs of growing and selling your trees should be very low, so your profit margin will be quite high.

Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

Your target market will be broad, but it will be mainly families who celebrate Christmas. You’re more likely to reach families on a site like Facebook, rather than on Instagram.

Where? Choose your Christmas tree farm location

Here are the factors to consider when selecting the ideal location for a Christmas tree farm:

  • Climate and Soil Conditions : Different types of Christmas trees thrive in various climates and soil conditions. Research the types of trees you want to grow and ensure the chosen location has the suitable climate and soil.
  • Size of the Land : The size of your farm should be sufficient to grow the number of trees you plan to sell, allowing enough space for each tree to mature and for customers to comfortably browse.
  • Layout and Terrain : The terrain should be suitable for growing trees and safe for customers to walk around. Consider the ease of navigating the farm, especially if families with children will be visiting.
  • Water Availability : Adequate water supply is crucial for healthy tree growth. Ensure the location has a reliable water source or the capacity to set up an irrigation system.
  • Regulations and Zoning : Check local zoning laws and regulations related to agriculture and commercial activities. Ensure that the location is zoned for agricultural use and that you can legally operate a Christmas tree farm there.
  • Environmental Impact : Assess the environmental impact of your farm. Sustainable practices not only protect the environment but can also be a selling point for eco-conscious customers.

If your farm is in a location that’s convenient for a lot of people, you won’t need a commercial space. If you are in a more rural area , you may need to rent out part of a parking lot or other outdoor space for your stand. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on Craigslist , Crexi , and Commercial Cafe .

christmas tree farm business rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Christmas Tree Farm Name

Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better
  • The name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “Christmas trees” or “holiday trees,” boosts SEO
  • Choose a name that allows for expansion: “Holly Jolly Tree Co.” over “Blue Spruce Forest” or “White Spruce Acres”
  • Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion

Discover over 340 unique Christmas tree farm name ideas here . If you want your business name to include specific keywords, you can also use our Christmas tree farm business name generator. Just type in a few keywords and hit “generate” and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

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Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that set your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.

Step 4: Create a Christmas Tree Farm Business Plan

Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:

  • Executive Summary: A concise overview of the Christmas tree farm business, highlighting key elements such as goals, target market, and financial projections.
  • Business Overview: An introduction to the Christmas tree farm, including its mission, vision, and the unique aspects that set it apart in the market.
  • Product and Services: Description of the types of Christmas trees offered, additional products (e.g., wreaths), and any services provided, emphasizing quality and variety.
  • Market Analysis: Examination of the demand for Christmas trees in the target market, demographic trends, and consumer preferences during the holiday season.
  • Competitive Analysis: Evaluation of other Christmas tree farms in the area, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to inform the business strategy.
  • Sales and Marketing: Strategies for promoting and selling Christmas trees, encompassing pricing, promotions, online presence, and partnerships with local businesses.
  • Management Team: Introduction to the individuals responsible for running the Christmas tree farm, highlighting their relevant experience and roles in the business.
  • Operations Plan: Detailed explanation of the day-to-day operations, including sourcing and planting trees, maintaining the farm, and managing customer interactions.
  • Financial Plan: Overview of the financial aspects, including startup costs, revenue projections, and budgeting for expenses, providing a clear picture of the business’s financial viability.
  • Appendix: Supplementary materials, such as permits, legal documents, and additional research data, supporting the information presented in the business plan.

what to include in a business plan

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business!

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you are planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to Christmas tree farms.

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state.

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your Christmas tree farm will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely.

Here are the main options:

  • Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
  • C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
  • S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC , which just needs to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.

types of business structures

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization , and answer any questions you might have.

Form Your LLC

Choose Your State

We recommend ZenBusiness as the Best LLC Service for 2023

business plan for christmas tree farm

Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number , or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship, you can simply use your social security number as your EIN.

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

business plan for christmas tree farm

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist , and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you are completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

  • Bank loans : This is the most common method, but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans : The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan .
  • Government grants : A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit to learn which might work for you.
  • Friends and Family : Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding : Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal : Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding a Christmas tree farm. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept.

types of business financing

Step 8: Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Starting a Christmas tree farm requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA ), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package . They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account .

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your Christmas tree farm as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account.

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of any of the above insurance types.

types of business insurance

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business.

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.

You might want to use industry-specific software, such as Hectre , conservis , and Granular , to manage your harvests, sales, inventory, and more.


  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks , Freshbooks , and Xero .
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.

Develop your website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.

You can create your own website using website builders . This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google. 

For your Christmas tree farm, the marketing strategy should focus on highlighting the festive experience of choosing a tree, the quality and variety of your trees, and the joy of traditional holiday activities. Emphasize the family-friendly environment, the freshness of your trees, and any additional holiday attractions or services you offer. Here are some powerful marketing strategies for your future business:

Kickstart Marketing

  • Professional Branding : Ensure your branding captures the spirit of the holiday season and the natural beauty of your trees, from your logo to your signage.
  • Direct Outreach : Network with local community groups, schools, and businesses to promote group visits or special events at your farm.

Digital Presence and Online Marketing

  • Professional Website and SEO : Develop an inviting website that showcases your farm, tree selection, and any additional holiday attractions or services. Implement SEO best practices to optimize your site for local search terms related to Christmas trees, holiday experiences, and family activities.
  • Social Media Engagement : Use platforms like Instagram and Facebook to share beautiful images of your farm, customer experiences, and updates about your holiday events and offerings.

Content Marketing and Engagement

  • Holiday Blog : Share posts about tree care, decorating tips, and the traditions of Christmas tree farming.
  • Customer Stories and Reviews : Feature testimonials and photos from families enjoying their time at your farm and their chosen trees.
  • Educational Content : Create informative content about different types of Christmas trees, tips for maintaining them, and fun holiday craft ideas.

Experiential and In-Person Engagements

  • On-Farm Events : Host holiday-themed events, such as tree-lighting ceremonies, visits from Santa, or craft fairs, to draw visitors to your farm.
  • Family-Friendly Activities : Offer hayrides, hot cocoa stands, and holiday photo spots to enhance the tree-buying experience and encourage families to spend more time at your farm.

Collaborations and Community

  • Partnerships with Local Businesses : Collaborate with local businesses for cross-promotion, such as bundling tree purchases with discounts at local stores or restaurants.
  • Community Involvement : Participate in local holiday parades, festivals, and markets, and consider donating trees to community centers or charities.

Customer Relationship and Loyalty Programs

  • Loyalty Discounts : Offer returning customers discounts or early access to select their trees.
  • Referral Rewards : Implement a referral program to encourage customers to bring friends and family to your farm.

Promotions and Advertising

  • Targeted Local Advertising : Use local newspapers, radio stations, community boards, and online platforms to promote your farm to the local community.
  • Email Marketing : Send out newsletters with updates about tree availability, upcoming events, and special offers to keep your audience engaged.

Focus on USPs

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that set it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your Christmas tree farm meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire.

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its strong USP: “Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your Christmas tree farm could be:

  • Spruce up your holidays with a Spruce tree
  • Christmas trees and all the décor – one-stop shopping on a farm
  • Doesn’t get any fresher than fresh cut!

unique selling proposition

You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a Christmas tree farm, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in Christmas tree farms for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in Christmas trees. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. Online businesses might also consider affiliate marketing as a way to build relationships with potential partners and boost business.

Step 12: Build Your Team

You may not need any employees since Christmas trees require very little maintenance. But as your business grows, you may need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a Christmas tree farm would include:

  • Laborers – Help with farm maintenance
  • Clerks – To sell the harvested trees
  • Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media, other marketing

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need.

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed , Glassdoor , or ZipRecruiter . Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent.

Step 13: Run a Christmas Tree Farm – Start Making Money!

Demand for real Christmas trees has been growing steadily, despite the many artificial options. For many people, nothing beats that fresh pine scent. Besides, real trees are biodegradable and better for the environment than plastic trees.

Since Christmas trees can be hard to find right now, if you get started right away you can help fill that gap when your first harvest comes in. While waiting, there are many other things you can do in your Christmas tree farm.

You’ve done the right thing by seeking guidance, and you’re now ready to start your sleigh ride to Christmas tree success!

  • Christmas Tree Farm Business FAQs

Christmas trees require very little maintenance once you’ve prepped the land and planted them. In the right soil and climate, they grow very well on their own, though it does take 8-10 years for the trees to grow to maturity.

It’s seasonal, but profit margins for Christmas trees are high. The average price of a tree is about $80. If you have 20 acres, you could grow 2,000 trees and make upwards of $150,000 in a season.

A Christmas tree farm can help the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, preventing soil erosion, providing habitat for wildlife, promoting sustainable farming practices, and filtering rainwater to protect water quality. These benefits are due to the fast-growing evergreen trees planted in the farm, which hold soil in place, sequester carbon, and provide shelter and food for wildlife. Overall, a well-managed Christmas tree farm can have significant environmental benefits.

You can start growing trees quickly. You just need land, some land preparation, and some seedlings. They do, however, take 8 – 10 years to mature.

As a rough estimate, a small-scale operation that aims to grow 1,000 trees per year may need around 1 to 2 acres of land, while a larger operation that aims to grow tens of thousands of trees per year may need 10 to 20 acres or more. However, this can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances and goals of the farm.

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  • Decide if the Business Is Right for You
  • Hone Your Idea
  • Brainstorm a Christmas Tree Farm Name
  • Create a Christmas Tree Farm Business Plan
  • Register Your Business
  • Register for Taxes
  • Fund your Business
  • Apply for Business Licenses and Permits
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get Business Insurance
  • Prepare to Launch
  • Build Your Team
  • Run a Christmas Tree Farm - Start Making Money!

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Christmas Tree Farm Business Plan Sample

FEB.13, 2018

Christmas Tree Farm Business Plan Sample

Do you want to start a Christmas tree farm business?

Have you been thinking of starting a tree farm ? There is no doubt a Christmas tree farm is a lucrative business venture that promises a handsome return. Christmas is undoubtedly the most popular annual celebration that is widely observed across the world. Amongst the must-haves for a Christmas celebration is a having a Christmas tree. If you’re thinking of how to transform your piece of land to a profitable venture with less risks and easy maintenance, planting Christmas trees is a great idea.

The advantage of managing a Christmas tree farm is it comes with very little maintenance which allows you to concentrate and pursue other ventures. If well taken care of, you will enjoy great profits for an extended period of time. Without the need to spend so much money running a Christmas tree farm, it’s definitely a smart business idea that will always offer a product that is needed on the market. It takes about eight years for Christmas trees to fully mature, so it requires good planning, strategy execution and patience to see the fruits. To be a successful Christmas tree farmer, you need to plan early and lay good strategies at the beginning.

To avoid undergoing the stress of what needs to be done, this well-articulated Christmas tree farm business plan experts with guide you every step of the way.

Executive Summary

2.1 the business.

The Christmas tree farm will be registered as Cole Christmas Tree Farm and will be based in Spring Texas. Starting a Christmas tree farm business requires careful planning an expert management team to oversee and coordinate business activities. Since the owners of the business have property in Spring, Texas, it was found to be the best place to set up the business. The tree farm sits in a strategic location within easy reach of both individuals as well as corporate customers. In addition, the Christmas tree farm is located close to large cities that offer a stable and ready market for products. Cole Christmas Tree Farm will be owned and run by Stephen Copeland who is a Botanist by profession. Copeland has had a successful long career in Botany where he has served in various capacities in different organizations.

2.2 Management

The tree farm will be managed by Mr. Copeland who will be assisted by his son, Andrew Copeland who is a recent business Management graduate from Texas State University. The management structure has been well-planned to ensure efficiency is achieved and professionalism is not compromised.

2.3 Customers

The tree farm will provide various types of Christmas tree varieties to both the residential and commercial market in nearby towns and cities. The aim of starting the business is to make sales both to individual buyers who need a Christmas tree in their home and various distributors and retailers. For corporate bulk sales, the trees are sold wholesale prices.

2.4 Company Target

Cole Christmas Tree Farm aims to start a Christmas tree farm that will be the most famous supplier of quality Christmas trees to both residential and commercial clients. The business is planning to leverage its success by introducing a wide variety of tree varieties to give customers a chance to choose from different species. Thanks to diversification, Mr. Copeland hopes to tap into a market where existing Christmas tree farms only focus on selling one or very few Christmas tree varieties.

Christmas tree farm business plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Company Summary

3.1 company owner.

Mr. Copeland is an expert in Botany and has acquired immense experience in core areas of botany such as plant diversity, economic botany, plant breeding and dendrology among others. He has worked several in both local and international organizations spanning a period of over thirty years. During the course of his career, Stephen Copeland has attended numerous high-profile international meetings and conferences in different parts of the world.

3.2 Reason for Starting the Business

Throughout Copeland’s entire career, he has always strived to provide advice and expertise on how to utilize plant diversity for economic purposes. His in-depth study of tree species has enabled him understand how to successfully run tree farms and provide the best quality species. Christmas is a major holiday and the demand for Christmas trees is always at high but there is still lack of sufficient suppliers to meet the demand. Understanding the need to diversify Christmas tree species and offer clients better exemplary service their money, Mr. Copeland decided to start a Christmas tree farm to ensure customers can order nice Christmas trees.

3.3 How the Business will be started

In order to ensure the Tree Farm succeeds, Mr. Copeland has come up with a comprehensive Christmas tree farming business plan . The plan is intended to forecast what is required to start and successfully run the Christmas tree farm. With assistance from financial and business set-up experts, Copeland has forecasted amounts below required for investment group business plan , expenses, assets as well as loans required for the start-up.

Christmas tree farm business plan - StartUp Coast

A full breakdown of how much is needed to fund the business, sum assets, start-up funding, total liabilities, liabilities, total planned investment, capital required, capital and liabilities as well as start-up expenses as forecasted is indicated below.

Services for Customers

Cole Christmas Tree Farm will provide different types of Christmas trees for their esteemed clients within Spring, Texas and other regions across the state and country. The unique thing about Cole Christmas Tree Farm will be the availability of various Christmas tree species allowing customers to make a choice from various options available. Emphasis has been placed on providing the best quality Christmas trees to ensure customers get full value for their money. Each of the farm’s products will meet the best quality standards.

Cole Christmas Tree Farm intends to offer the following types of Christmas trees:

  • Fir Trees which include Douglas Fir, Balsam Fir and Fraser Fir
  • Pine Trees comprising of Afgan Pine, White Pine and Scotch Pine
  • Cypress Trees including Leyland Cypress and Carolina Sapphire
  • Cedar Trees such as Eastern Redcedar

Clearly outlining the types of products to be offered is a critical issue that has been by Cole Christmas Tree Farm when planning how to start a Christmas tree business .

Marketing Analysis of Christmas Tree Business

In a bid to counter challenges that arise when starting a tree farm business, Cole Christmas Tree Farm has carried out an accurate and extensive market analysis. A detailed marketing analysis is aimed at helping the business to understand how to start a Christmas tree farm . This information is critical as it will guide the farm’s strategies that will be implemented over the next few years after inception of the business. This information is included in the initial Christmas tree farm business plan so that all future plans are made in accordance to the facts presented in the analysis of the market niche. Given the importance of having a solid marketing analysis for Cope Christmas Tree Farm, Mr. Copeland obtained help from marketing experts to help develop a solid marketing plan in line with current market demands.

Christmas is a widely celebrated global holiday and as such, there is an increased demand for Christmas trees and other decoration which is expected to become higher in the future. Decorating Christmas trees is a tradition many people cherish. More individuals and businesses are increasingly putting up Christmas trees. According to statistics, about 10,000,000 artificial Christmas trees are sold in the United States each year but this is going down. This signifies the demand for live Christmas trees remains is rapidly increasing and a tree farm would definitely yield good results if well managed.

The management of Cole Christmas Tree Farm knows the success or failure of the business wholly depends on how the enterprise will market itself to its target customers. For marketing analysis and strategy to succeed, it is critical to identify the target audience and prospective customers. Stephen Copeland has done extensive market research and sought help from experts to identify target customers and come up with a defined marketing strategy.

5.1 Market Segmentation

Cope Christmas Tree Farm has identified the following classes of target audiences which it intends to make them potential clients of the tree farm.

Christmas tree farm business plan - Market Segmentation

A comprehensive market segment that outlines the business target audience is explained as follows.

5.1.1 Individuals

Individual customers will be catered for under the retail scheme. Customers here are diverse and range from residents who live near the tree farm and can therefore, easily buy a Christmas tree from the farm. This category covers all customers living around the Cole Christmas Tree Farm as well as those who reside in the nearby cities and towns. Given the high population of neighboring towns and cities, the demand from individual buyers is extremely high and Cole Farm has to figure out how to ensure there is a steady supply of Christmas trees during peak time. Individual customers are very diverse and consist of people drawn from various social, religious and cultural backgrounds but who dedicate themselves to the spirit of Christmas. Cole Christmas Tree farm has identified individual customers as a lucrative market segment that needs to be adequately catered for.

5.1.2 Companies and Businesses

Cole Christmas Tree Farm intends to sell Christmas trees to various businesses which in this regard, are considered as wholesale customers. Businesses will buy Christmas trees from the business in bulk at wholesale prices and thereafter, sell them to their customers are retail prices. Given the rising demand for Christmas trees, retailers are always on the lookout for suppliers who can guarantee a steady supply chain. Since they purchase in bulk, corporate customers are key to the success of the tree farm considering revenue obtained from their purchases is high. When thinking of how to start a Christmas tree farm , the business knows wholesale buyers are critical for success and have to be accorded utmost professionalism.

5.1.3 Nonprofit Organizations

Cole Christmas Tree Farm hopes to sell their trees to Nonprofit organizations who in most cases, often have no problem spending more to buy trees compared to businesses buying on a wholesale basis. In most cases, this category of clients will buy many Christmas trees and sell them during fundraising and charity events.

5.1.4 Local Councils and Governments

Though not as common as the above customer groups, Cole Christmas Tree Farm will at times sell a few large trees to local councils and governments. Local councils will in most cases buy a tree or two, but will pay a much higher rate than individual customers, wholesale customers and nonprofit organizations. These sales are not easy to come by, but when they do, Cole Farm will earn a significant amount of income.

5.2 Business Target

The business aims to be the best Christmas tree grower in Spring and the entire Harris County in Texas. Cole Christmas Tree Farm hopes to recover the initial capital within the first three years of starting the business as well as grow annual sales by an average of 20%. In order to meet its targets, the farm will emphasize on superb customer service and offer quality Christmas trees. There are concerted efforts to ensure every customer is welcomed in a friendly environment and treated with respect and dignity. The aim of this Christmas tree farm business is to build long-term and sustainable relationships with customers.

5.3 Product Pricing

Product pricing is a key factor that will affect the sales of Christmas products and buyers are keen when it comes to pricing. For this reason, Cole Christmas Tree Farm endeavors to strategically set prices in order to attract more customers, but at the same time, ensure good profits are realized. Given the fact trees take an average of 6-8 years to mature, it makes sense for the business to obtain good profits. Product prices have been determined after doing extensive market research to determine what competitors are charging.

Cole Christmas Tree Farm intends to charge the following average prices for its products:

  • Fir Trees $130.00
  • Pine Trees $200.00
  • Cypress Trees $300.00
  • Cedar Trees $400.00

After the completion of an extensive market analysis, Mr. Copeland has come up with a winning strategy that will be used to target and reach out to identified customer segments in Section 5.1. The sales strategy has been carefully formulated by the Founder of Cope Christmas Tree Farm with assistance from experts. The sales strategy entails the following aspects:

6.1 Competitive Analysis

The tree farm will face competition as there are other similar establishments around Spring, Texas and neighboring towns and cities. While deliberating how much does a Christmas tree cost , Cole Farm will keep its prices slightly below the market price for the first few years in order to attract more customers and gain a market presence. Given the fact that the farm sits on a large acreage, it will be easy to strike a balance between offering lower prices and securing good profit margins. The business also understands the competitive nature of the business and thus understands the need to be unique and innovative.

6.2 Sales Strategy

With help from experts, Cole Christmas Tree Farm has come up with an ambitious and exciting strategy to make sure business goals are realized. These strategies entail:

  • Maintaining superb quality of trees by ensuring they are well taken care of by professionals from the time the trees are planted until they mature.
  • Sell trees at a slightly lower price than competitors and at the same time, offer amazing discounts on bulk purchases.
  • The farm will be established in an area that is easily accessible with a good road network to allow customers to visit the business.
  • Cole tree farm will focus on selling a great variety of tree species that comes in different sizes and shapes to ensure customers can choose from amongst many options.
  • The business will study the market to understand what customers want, identify challenges and loopholes to come up with products that will satisfy client expectations.
  • Selectively offer free delivery services especially to a few local residents with an aim of building lasting relationships.
  • Intensively market the tree farm on local media platforms, events and exhibitions as well as digital media platforms i.e. social media.
  • Build a digital platform to allow customers purchase Christmas trees online without having to physically visit the property.

6.3 Sales Forecast

The business strongly believes in its unique, quality-oriented and superb customer service to attract a loyal customer base. For this reason, the business has forecasted a steady increase in its annual sales. After carefully analyzing the market segmentation, the tree farm has forecasted to achieve the following sales on an annual basis.

The information in the table and column charts below contains details about sales forecasts.

Christmas tree farm business plan - Unit Sales

Personnel Plan

In order to be the market leader in selling Christmas trees, Cole Christmas Tree Farm plans to put together a dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced staff to be involved in day-to-day operations of the business. The following plan is a proposed personnel plan to start Christmas farm as well as their average salaries.

7.1 Staff Plan

Mr. Stephen Copeland who is the business owner will be the General Manager of Cole Christmas Tree Farm. In addition, the business intends to hire the following staff.

  • 1 Manager to oversee operations and administration of the tree farm
  • 1 Cashier to receive and process payments from customers
  • 1 Administrator to perform general admin duties and work closely with the manager
  • 2 Sales and Marketing Executives responsible for marketing the Christmas tree farm
  • 2 Gardeners to take general care of the farm and ensure favorable conditions for growth of trees
  • 2 Tree Farmers to provide advice, supervise and monitor the growth and maintenance of trees
  • Cleaners to perform general cleaning duties in the business premises
  • Drivers to run various errands for the business as well as deliver customer orders

To keep standards high, all employees will undergo intensive interviews and vigorous on-job training before assuming their positions.

7.2 Average Staff Salaries

The table below clearly illustrates forecasted staff data and the salaries they will earn in the first three years.

Financial Plan

The business enterprise come up with a detailed and elaborate financial plan that will help the business attain its goals. The Cole Christmas Tree Farm will be financed by Stephen Copeland and two investors. At the moment, the funding is sufficient to cater for starting a Christmas tree farm business so no outside loan is required.

8.1 Important Assumptions

Cole Christmas Tree Farm’s financial projections have been forecasted based on the assumptions below.

8.2 Brake-even Analysis

The graph and table below illustrates Cole Christmas Tree Farm Brake-even Analysis.

Christmas tree farm business plan - Brake-even Analysis

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

The charts below seek to explain the company’s anticipated Profit and Loss statistics based on monthly and annual rates. Using the information, it is easier to see forecasted financial figures for Cole Christmas Tree Farm.

8.3.1 Monthly Profit

Christmas tree farm business plan - PROFIT MONTHLY

8.3.2 Yearly Profit

Christmas tree farm business plan - PROFIT YEARLY

8.3.3 Monthly Gross Margin

Christmas tree farm business plan - GROSS MARGIN MONTHLY

8.3.4 Yearly Gross Margin

Information about profit and loss as well as total cost of sales has been summarized in the chart below.

Christmas tree farm business plan - GROSS MARGIN YEARLY

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

Cole Christmas Tree Farm projected cash flow is indicated in the column diagram below.

Christmas tree farm business plan - Projected Cash Flow

The table below shares comprehensive data about pro forma cash flow, subtotal cash received, subtotal cash spent, sub-total cash from operations and sub-total spent on operations.

8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

The projected balance sheet below indicates key information pertaining to Cole Christmas Tree Farm’s total assets, total liabilities, total current assets, total liabilities and capital, total long-term assets, total capital and subtotal current liabilities.

8.6 Business Ratios

The following table has data regarding Cole Tree Farm business ratios, net worth, total assets and ratio analysis.

Download Christmas Tree Farm Business Plan Sample in pdf

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How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm

Each year, many people decorate their homes and businesses during the holiday season by putting up Christmas trees. A Christmas tree farm grows and sells evergreens for those who want real trees (as opposed to artificial ones) during this time of year. There are 25-30 million real trees purchased each year, and the industry continues to grow. Some r eports state that sales for artificial trees peaked in 2007 and have been declining since then, leaving plenty of room for growth in the real Christmas tree industry.

Learn how to start your own Christmas Tree Farm and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services .

Christmas Tree Farm Image

Start a christmas tree farm by following these 10 steps:

  • Plan your Christmas Tree Farm
  • Form your Christmas Tree Farm into a Legal Entity
  • Register your Christmas Tree Farm for Taxes
  • Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
  • Set up Accounting for your Christmas Tree Farm
  • Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Christmas Tree Farm
  • Get Christmas Tree Farm Insurance
  • Define your Christmas Tree Farm Brand
  • Create your Christmas Tree Farm Website
  • Set up your Business Phone System

We have put together this simple guide to starting your christmas tree farm. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas .

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

What will you name your business?

  • What are the startup and ongoing costs?
  • Who is your target market?

How much can you charge customers?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Christmas Tree Farm Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship , you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name , we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state's business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability .

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Want some help naming your christmas tree farm?

Business name generator, what are the costs involved in opening a christmas tree farm.

The primary startup costs associated with opening a Christmas tree business are:

  • acquiring land (at least 10 to 20 acres)
  • preparing soil
  • purchasing seedlings

Business owners that already have suitable land and a tractor can start up a tree farm for relatively little, as they can use their own land and prepare it themselves.

Owners that don’t have land can keep their initial investment low by purchasing acreage in a rural area where land is cheap. Alternatively, they can enter a sharecropping agreement with a landowner. In such an agreement, nothing is paid initially for the land, but profits are split. In an interview on PTMoney , Gregory Bartels, who has 40 years of experience in the industry, says 50/50 agreements are common.

Owners that don’t have their own tractor can hire a farmer to prepare their soil for them. According to Bartels, farmers generally charge about $1,000 to prepare 20 acres.

Investing in seedlings costs more than planting seeds. Business owners should plan on this expense, though, because seedlings shorten the time to harvest by about 2 years. Seedlings cost around $0.35 each, and business owners should budget for planting 200 per acre each year.

What are the ongoing expenses for a christmas tree farm?

The ongoing expenses for a Christmas tree business include the costs of purchasing seedlings (200 per acre per year). For a ten acre farm, with seedlings priced at $0.35 each, 200 seedlings per acre per year should only cost $700 per year. Mowing and weed control are additional expenses, but these costs are relatively low for most business owners.

Who is the target market?

Christmas tree farms may sell trees to individuals, wholesalers, or nonprofit organizations, and many farms sell to all three types of customers. Of these three:

  • Individuals will pay the most, but most families and businesses will buy only one tree.
  • Wholesalers might purchase quite a lot of trees, but they frequently pay one-third of their retail price.
  • Nonprofit organizations are often a happy medium, paying above-wholesale prices for several dozen trees that they’ll sell as a fundraiser.

Additionally, Christmas tree farms can sometimes sell one or two large trees at much higher rates than most individuals, wholesalers, or nonprofits will pay. Local governments and a few businesses might be willing to pay several hundred dollars for an especially tall tree. Most farms only have a few (if any) of these sales, but even just one or two sales like this can significantly boost a farm’s annual income.

How does a christmas tree farm make money?

A Christmas tree business makes money by selling Christmas trees. Trees may be sold already cut (precut), or they may be cut down by the individuals who purchased the tree (u-cut).

The average price for a u-cut tree is about $46. Pre-cut trees at retail locations sell for significantly more.

How much profit can a christmas tree farm make?

With 200 trees per acre ready for harvesting each year, a u-cut tree farm could theoretically bring in $9,200 per acre annually. Most farms don’t generate this much revenue, though. Many max out their profits between $15,000 and $20,000 because there is a limited demand for Christmas trees in any one area.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Christmas tree farms can add additional revenue streams and increase profits by growing other plants (e.g. pumpkins) and offering other products. In addition to Christmas trees, many farms also sell wreaths. Wreaths can be sold for up to $100, and it’s possible to make six to eight in an hour.

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship , partnership , limited liability company (LLC) , and corporation .

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your christmas tree farm is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services . You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website . If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil .

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

  • Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • Build your company's credit history , which can be useful to raise money later on.

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a Christmas tree business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits .

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses .

Labor Safety Requirements

It is important to comply with all Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements .

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance . This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance . If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

FInd out what types of insurance your Christmas Tree Farm needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Christmas Tree Farm.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners , we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended : Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker .

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator . Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market a christmas tree farm

The internet makes it easy to promote and market a Christmas tree business. Ads on Craigslist and social media can be used to target potential customers in the area. Additionally, most states have extensions or Christmas tree associations that maintain directories of tree farms in the state. During your business’ early selling years, you can attract new customers by offering coupons or special deals on trees. This tactic will attract them to your business, and their satisfaction will lead them to promote your business to their friends and family.

How to keep customers coming back

A Christmas tree farm can set itself apart from others in the area by planting a pumpkin patch. Selling pumpkins around Halloween will help generate visibility for your tree farm. This exposure to your Christmas tree farm will make them more likely to return to purchase one of your trees during the Christmas season.  

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business .

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
  • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Recommended : Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders .

Other popular website builders are: WordPress , WIX , Weebly , Squarespace , and Shopify .

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

TRUiC's Startup Podcast

Welcome to the Startup Savant podcast , where we interview real startup founders at every stage of the entrepreneurial journey, from launch to scale.

Is this Business Right For You?

Anyone who enjoys working outdoors and with their hands might enjoy owning a Christmas tree business. Tree farms don’t require a tremendous amount of work, but most of the work involves tending to, cutting, and delivering trees. All of these tasks involve hands-on labor.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at a christmas tree farm?

A Christmas tree farm is a highly seasonal business, so the day-to-day tasks of a business owner vary greatly with the season:

  • Spring is the time for preparing soil and planting trees.
  • Late spring and early summer is the time for trimming trees (which is done once per year).
  • Summers are spent mowing between rows and applying weed control chemicals as necessary.
  • Late fall and early winter are the time to cut and sell trees.

When selling trees during the Christmas season (primarily Thanksgiving to Christmas), business owners often work long days. Because the season for selling trees is so short, as much time as possible is devoted to cutting trees (for precut), helping customers cut their own trees (for u-cut), and bagging and transporting trees.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful christmas tree farm?

In order to successfully grow Christmas trees, it’s necessary to be familiar with the agricultural practices that work in a particular region. Business owners that haven’t previously operated farms of any kind should consider taking local agricultural classes and working on a nearby farm for a season. Talking with as many area farmers as possible can also provide insights that come from years of growing crops in the region.

What is the growth potential for a christmas tree farm?

Most Christmas tree businesses serve a local geographic area. Managing multiple areas in different regions isn’t viable, and transporting fully grown Christmas trees long distances is expensive. Many farms will transport trees to a retail location in a nearby city, but it rarely makes financial sense to ship trees across several states (especially since there are tree farms in all 50 states, including Hawaii).

TRUiC's YouTube Channel

For fun informative videos about starting a business visit the TRUiC YouTube Channel or subscribe to view later.

Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor.

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a christmas tree farm?

When designing the layout for a Christmas tree business, it’s important to not forget about accessing the trees once they’re grown. There should be strategically located loading areas, and access points should be located every 12 to 15 rows.

Although a single acre can support 1,500 trees, most tree farms only plant 200 per acre each year. Trees take around 8 years to reach 5 to 7 feet high, which is the most popular height for Christmas trees. (90 percent of trees sold are in this range.) Staggering plantings helps ensure a stable income once a farm is established.

Because it takes eight years for trees to mature, business owners should budget for eight years without any income. During this time, they’ll need to pay for mowing, weed control and more seedlings.

How and when to build a team

A single person is able to manage a small Christmas tree business for most of the year. During the Christmas season, business owners may want to hire laborers so they can maximize the number of trees they are able to sell.

Useful Links

Industry opportunities.

  • Learn about more Family Fun Business Ideas!

Real World Examples

  • Marina Middle School Christmas Trees
  • Christmas Tree Jamboree

Further Reading

  • 10 Tips For Starting a Christmas Tree Business

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!

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How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm for Profit

The spirit of the season can start right on your christmas tree farm. here's what you need to know about starting and maintaining the business., be aware: it takes time, choose the right evergreens, turn a profit, provide market value, grow more than christmas trees.

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How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm [Christmas Tree Farming Expert Tells All]


S tarting and running a Christmas tree farm (i.e. Christmas Tree Farming) has always intrigued me. I’m always on the lookout for interesting ways to make extra money with my spare time and resources.

When Gregory Bartels, aka “The Christmas Tree Man,” reached out to me and I saw his passion for the Christmas tree business, I knew I had to feature his tips here on the blog.

Gregory has been in the business for 40 years and he shares some great tips for anyone who wants to start their own Christmas tree farm for fun and profit. Here’s a quick summary of Gregory’s thoughts to get you started:

How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm (aka Christmas Free Farming)

  • Choose a Christmas Tree Variety
  • Purchase Tree Seedlings
  • Purchase and/or Prepare Your Land
  • Plant Your Tree Seedlings
  • Wait 6-8 Years
  • Advertise Your Christmas Tree Sale
  • Cut and Sell Your Christmas Trees

Intro from Gregory:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell you a little about Christmas trees and Christmas Tree Farming.

I came over here to America in 1965. Joined the army and was discharged in 68. 68 was the first year I got into the Christmas tree business.

I got in as a retailer down in California (quite by accident) and that’s a whole new/different story.

I retailed for 10 years and met my girl, got married, and one day she said, “why don’t we move to Oregon, buy some land and grow the trees? Then we don’t have to buy them because we’ll own them. We should cut out the middle man.”

Turns out I married a smart girl. So we did. 40 years later we’re still here, still growing and retailing.

1. What is the bare minimum investment to get started in Christmas tree farming if you already have land (i.e. what is the cost to buy seed, work the land, maintain, etc.)?

The seed has already been taken from the cone and made into a seedling approx 1′ to 1 1/2′ tall. Different tree seedlings are priced differently.

For the most part, folks here in the Pacific Northwest grow Noble fir, Douglas fir, and Grand fir.

The tree seedlings are priced at an average of .35 per tree. We buy them from the big guys like Weyerhaeuser , although there are some “boutique” growers that grow a pretty healthy seedling.

Before planting you must ‘rip and disc-up’ the dirt/soil. If you’re just starting and you don’t own your own tractor, a local farmer will (generally) clean up/disc 20 acres for approx $1000 (10 acres for $500). Now you’re ready to plant your babies.

2. If you don’t have land for your Christmas tree farm are there ways to get it for free, very cheap, or through some type of sharecropping/rental arrangement?

I have yet to find free land. However, there are many farmers who will sharecrop his/her land with you. Usually, everybody involved agrees that a 50% split is fair.

The farmer provides the land, the grower provides the knowledge/experience. Costs are split 50/50. Profits are split 50/50. I’ll get to the profits later.

Related Partner: Want to invest in a Christmas Tree farm instead? Check out AcreTrader , where you can diversify your portfolio with investments into farmlands that see 11% annual return!

3. How much land do you need for a Christmas tree farm? How much is ideal?

I’m often asked, “How much land do I need?” My answer is “Do you have a business plan, and/or do you have a buyer for your trees when it comes time to sell them?”

A tree typically takes 6 to 8 years to grow (1 foot per year), so you’re tying up the land for quite a while.

That being said, at right around 1,500 trees per acre, a 10-acre piece will yield you 15,000 (20 acres 30,000) trees. Nowadays with the Internet and craigslist, etc, marketing your Christmas trees is a whole lot easier.

Just about every State I believe has a extension service or a Christmas tree association and (like the Granges in the old days) there are folks who will gladly help. All you have to do is ask, or give me a ring, I’m happy to help and steer you on the right course.

4. Can this (Christmas tree farming) be done anywhere or is it exclusive to the Pacific Northwest?

Just about every state grows Christmas trees – even Hawaii. The Pacific Northwest is (I’m gonna sell my state now!) great/ideal for growing Christmas trees. We grow a beautiful tree.

However, ask the folks down in North Carolina or Pennsylvania, or Michigan and they will tell you that they “grow the best trees”.

We actually have competitions every year, when growers from all over the country get together and “tell tall stories” and “talk tree”.

5. In general, what type of Christmas trees do you plant and which do you have to purchase?

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we plant Noble fir, Douglas Fir, and Grand fir. The folks down in North Carolina plant the Frazier fir, Pennsylvania Douglas fir, pines. Elevation, conditions, rainfall, etc are all factored in.

We here in the Pacific Northwest don’t grow a Frazier fir like they can in North Carolina. See the Arbor Day Foundation for the best tree to plant in “your neck of the woods”

6. How do you actually make money selling Christmas trees? What kind of margins can you get away with?

It’s all about supply and demand. Are there a lot of trees? Was there an overplanting 6 to 8 years ago? Is there an overage or are supplies short? Supply and demand.

Either way, the money is made in the buy. Not what you can sell them for (because there is a realized price/cost of the tree on the lot) so it’s vital to know that “the money is made in the buy”.

Because we grow the tree and not buy from the farmer our margins are better than the couple (buyer) that has a retail lot or lots and has to buy from the farmer or broker.

There is more money to be made by finding a retail lot and selling trees than by having a “choose & cut” or a “u-cut trees” lot.

There is a rule of thumb. Buy a tree for $10 and sell it for $30. That’s minimum margins.

However, (and again, it’s all in the buy), you can typically buy a tree for $15 and with the right location, that tree can sell for $50 to $80. That’s GREAT margins. Location is the key to retailing.

7. What about advertising? How do you get people to buy Christmas trees from you?

Advertising is important. We usually set up and sell pumpkins. We create a fun pumpkin patch. Folks coming in and driving by see that there is a seasonal legitimate business on the corner and come on in. Also supplying the Christmas tree lot retailers are companies that sell banners, stands, and tree lot supplies.

So put as many flags and banners and signs out as you can. Last year we had a team outside the lots waving to the folks driving by. They were wearing little elves’ costumes. Flyers in local stores, with an offer for $2 off your tree. Most folks buy trees within 2-3 miles of their homes.

Related: Discover Seasonal Jobs in Unique Places [CoolWorks Review]

8. How much can you really make selling Christmas trees in a season? A breakdown of the numbers would be appreciated.

$15,000 to $20,000 per location. Location, location, location. Typically a Christmas tree lot at a halfway decent location will sell anywhere from 500 to 1,000 trees. Now we all know this is a seasonal business so you have to “hit it hard”. There’s no time to be sitting around.

If you purchased correctly using the rule of thumb you should make $15 to $20 thousand dollars. Of course, it all depends on what you paid for them and what you sell them for.

Starting out I would suggest just doing it with friends and family. Having two lots close enough that you can manage them is a good thing. Don’t recommend doing more than two the first couple of years. Gotta get your feet wet first.

When I was first retailing way back when I would go spy on other lots. Everybody does it. Drive up to the lot, walk around and check out what the other guy is doing. Spying on the other guy is always fun and informative.

Growing Christmas Trees: Select the Right Species, Raise the Best Trees, Market for the Holidays

9. What are some of the mistakes you made or you see others making when trying to do a Christmas tree farm?

There are good folks and there are not so good folks. Going into a new business whether it’s becoming a Christmas tree grower/farmer or retailing, there are always good folks that will gladly help with counsel and advice.

Whenever we needed help on what to do, we just asked one of the many good people and organizations/associations for help. You are not alone.

Read Next : 23 Unique Business Ideas (That You Can Start Now!)

10. What’s been the key to your success in the Christmas tree farm business?

The key to any successful business is knowing that you have to plan. If you fail to plan, you can plan on failing.

Hard work, and again, there are so many folks that are more than happy to help on your journey. Have fun making money. It’s fun making money!

What did you think of Gregory’s tips on starting a Christmas Tree Farm business? Are you seriously considering Christmas Tree Farming? Let us know in the comments below.


Philip Taylor is a CPA, writer, entrepreneur, and founder of FinCon. Philip has been quoted and featured in multiple media outlets including The New York Times , The Washington Post , Forbes , Fox Business , and more . Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn .

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Very informative. Looking into the idea on our land in Western PA. Long term project with my kids taking 3 – 4 acres out of 140 acres for tree farm. We have local Amish to help for labor. Thank you!

Thank you for the information. We are considering starting a tree farm in North Central Arkansas.

You are welcome. Good luck on the farm. Come back and let us know when you have it going. I’d love to hear more of your story.

Thanks for this. I have a family property with a derelict vineyard from 2 generations back. It is pretty much virgin forest other than this 1 acre clearing. I have to find a way to make an income off of the property or, likely, in the future we will have to see due to tax increases. I’m thinking this is the way to go. It’s passive enough, and fir trees are native to the forest. This was a very helpful read.

I run a Christmas Tree lot outside my hardware store during the winter season, selling noble firs and craft florist evergreen wreaths and whatnot. I’m based down south and I can tell you, farming my own just wasn’t cost effective. If you can find a good supplier to ship them to you, you can save quite a bit and make good money just off the lot. I agree that the Pacific Northwest is best when it comes to noble firs – I’ve found some of the best deals from suppliers in Oregon. If time/money is at all an issue, I’d suggest going that route.

I am a Christmas tree farmer.  Currently trees are selling for cheaper than farmers can grow them for.  This is due to a large over supply.  I suggest you research market trends before investing money in this industry.

Christmas Tree Farms are all over Pennsylvania.

Now, this is a unique article on how to make extra money, different from the usual PF reading.  I suppose it would take living in a low cost of living area, or at least having your acreage in an area where land prices are dirt-cheap.  Yet, you need to be accessible to people with the means and interest in buying these trees.  The land purchase would appear to be critical here, but I could see how this could make some money. How about outsourcing most labor at low rates, to keep it profitable?

I’m interested in the fact that he started on the retail side and expanded. This seems like a business with low barriers to entry and decent margins for someone just starting out. I love case studies…great story. Thanks for having him on the blog.

 @AverageJoeMoney  Low barriers? Only if you are buying and growing since he said growing takes 6 to 8 years! That’s a long time before you start selling

 @MJTM  Dude! I’m not talking about buying 100 acres and going crazy….I’m talking about starting out! The retail end of the operation that he discusses (read way back to the beginning of the article) has decent margins and low barriers. I found it interesting that he could move up from there, don’t you?

Very interesing post! I always heard how lucrative the Christmas tree business was. It seems like any business where, if you control your expenses, it is profitable.  If you do it well, you could make enough in about 30 days to support yourself for the whole year.

Well this is certainly and interesting way to make extra cash. You’d have to have a lot of land, though.

 @addvodka Agreed that it would be very interesting to dig into this type of work. As Gregory explained in the interview though, you would not need a lot of land. You could sharecrop, just buy and sell trees (i.e. only need a truck and lot to sell), or just start with a small batch of trees on a little land.

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Gokce Capital: Land Dreams Made Real

How To Start a Christmas Tree Farm? 11 Things (2024) You Need to Know

It’s that time of year again!

The leaves are changing color, the weather is getting colder, and Christmas is just around the corner.

This means one thing: it’s time to start thinking about Christmas trees (and farms)!

With natural Christmas tree demand increasing and artificial trees falling out of favor with many, now is the perfect time to launch your very own Christmas tree farm. And this article is here to help make it easier for you.

Inside, we’ll cover the top essential things to consider when starting your own Christmas tree farm—from startup costs and land requirements to what kinds of trees are popular among consumers.

So if you’re ready to get started on your journey toward owning a successful Christmas tree farm, let’s dive in!

1. Why Should You Start a Christmas Tree Farm?

The first step to any big business venture is understanding why you should take the leap.

And when it comes to Christmas tree farming, there are plenty of compelling reasons to start.


For starters, you can make a considerable profit on each sale, especially if you have an efficient and effective business model.

Plus, you can personalize each experience for customers who come to buy trees from you.

This allows you to build a loyal customer base and make sure your business grows each season.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that 25-30 million Christmas trees are sold annually in the US with 15,000 tree farms and over 100,000 people employed in the industry.

The estimated annual sales are about $380 million, making it a lucrative industry to enter.

There is significant demand for real Christmas trees.

In 2023, Fox News stated that Christmas tree demand was strong despite inflation.

Surprisingly, many people who have only ever had artificial trees were making the trip to buy real ones.

As more and more people choose to show their support for local producers, opening your Christmas tree farm to the public is a wonderful opportunity for you to build relationships with these individuals.

Also, starting a Christmas tree farm can provide an opportunity to give back to your community.

You could donate unsold trees to families in need, organize special events for the public or work with charities to provide trees.

Christmas tree farming is a great way to demonstrate environmental responsibility and safeguard the natural environment.

Growing Christmas trees can help:

  • Soil stability
  • Air purification
  • Flood control
  • Wildlife shelter and protection

Not only can you make money and join an established industry, but you can also build a family legacy.

You’ll be able to pass down your business to the next generation, creating a tradition and memory that will last for years to come.

2. What Do You Need to Start a Christmas Tree Farm?

Once you nail down why you should start a Christmas tree farm, you’ll need to know a few other things too.

Here are the main components of setting up and running your own real Christmas tree business:

The startup costs of a Christmas tree farm vary significantly depending on the size of your operation and whether you plan to grow your own seedlings or buy them from a nursery.

Generally, you will need to factor in costs for land, equipment, maintenance, and labor.

You will need to decide which types of trees you plan to grow on your farm.

Starting a Christmas tree farm requires that you follow all applicable local, state, and federal laws.

This means making sure you have the proper licenses and permits.

Where you choose to set up your Christmas tree farm is important.

You will need to consider the climate, soil quality , and access to water.

Additionally, you should think about how close your farm is to potential customers.

Once you have your operation up and running, you will need to start marketing your Christmas trees.

This can include setting up a website, using social media, and attending local events.

These are just the basics of what you need to know before starting a Christmas tree farm.

Business experience, knowledge of the industry, and a willingness to learn are all essential pieces for success.

3. What Types of Christmas Trees Are There?

A Christmas tree is typically an evergreen tree, such as fir, spruce, or pine, that is decorated with lights and other ornaments during the Christmas holiday season.

The tradition of using evergreen trees to celebrate Christmas can be traced back to the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, which was a celebration of the agricultural god Saturn.

During this festival, which took place in December, the Romans would decorate their homes with branches of evergreen trees, wreaths, and other decorations to symbolize the renewal of life and the coming of spring.

The use of evergreen trees and other decorations as a part of holiday celebrations is thought to have been adopted by early Christians in Europe, who incorporated these traditions into the celebration of Christmas.

Fir trees are a common type of evergreen that can be found in various parts of the world, including North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

They are characterized by their flat, spiral-shaped needles and are known for their soft texture compared to the sharper needles of spruce trees.

Spruce trees are native to the mountainous regions of Western and Northern America.

These trees are easily identifiable by their characteristic pyramid-shaped crowns, four-sided needles, and downward-hanging cones, which create a visually striking contrast against their upturned branches.

Pine trees are an evergreen species that are known for their distinctive clusters of needles and more sparse branches compared to other evergreens like spruce and fir.

This makes them ideal for holiday decorating as they can accommodate larger ornaments and decorations, despite their seemingly denser appearance due to their needles growing in clusters.

4. What Are the Most Popular Christmas Trees?

  • Douglas Fir
  • White Spruce
  • Norway Spruce
  • Blue Spruce
  • Scotch Pine

To cut to the chase, due to its longevity (common in the Fir trees) and popular scent, the Balsam Fir is one of the most popular Christmas trees.

Still, the Fraser Fir is the best-selling tree in the US due to its silver-green needles and shape.

5. Where Are Most Christmas Trees Grown?

In the United States, the top Christmas tree-producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington according to the USDA .

These states are home to a variety of Christmas tree farms that grow different types of evergreen trees, including species such as Douglas fir, Fraser fir, Noble fir, and Balsam fir.

Christmas tree farming is an important agricultural industry in these states, and many of the trees grown there are shipped across the country and internationally for use as holiday decorations.

Approximately 15 million trees are harvested from a network of around 15,000 tree farms that span nearly 300 thousand acres.

Would you believe that 50% of all trees cut come from just two states?

Oregon leads the pack with almost 1,500 farms and 4.7 million trees cut.

In total, they make about $120 million in sales on their 45,000 acres.

Coming in close as the second most Christmas tree-producing state, North Carolina has about 850 tree farms with about 4 million trees cut.

They make about $86 million in sales on their 39,000 acres.

Michigan is the third most Christmas tree-producing state with about 1,200 farms and 1.5 million trees cut.

They make almost $29 million in sales on their 37,000 acres.

Fourth on the list is Pennsylvania with about 1,200 farms and 1 million trees cut.

They make almost $29 million in sales on their 30,000 acres.

Rounding out the top five is Wisconsin with about 850 farms and 700,000 trees cut.

They make around $18 million in sales on their 23,000 acres.

Coming in sixth is Washington with about 650 farms and 500,000 trees cut on their 8,000 acres.

6. Pros and Cons of Starting a Tree Farm

  • Eco-friendly. Christmas tree farms are a great way to make extra income during the holidays while also helping preserve nature and protect the environment.
  • Good Money. Tree farming is an incredibly lucrative business, especially if you have the right land, resources, and know-how.
  • Starting your own business . Starting a Christmas tree farm is a great way to go into business for yourself and become self-sufficient.
  • Fun. Tree farming isn’t all work, it can be a fun and rewarding experience to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Risky Investment. Tree farming requires a substantial financial investment, as there will be costs associated with land purchase/lease, equipment, seeds/saplings, fertilizers/ pesticides , labor, and other overhead expenses.
  • Long-term commitment. Tree farming is a long-term endeavor that requires patience and dedication in order to be successful. It can take up to 10 years for trees to reach maturity and begin producing the desired product.
  • Weather conditions. Poor weather conditions can adversely affect the growth of trees and crop yields, leading to a decrease in profits.
  • Pests/Diseases. Pests and diseases such as root rot, aphids, beetles, mites, and blight can wreak havoc on tree farms if not treated promptly.
  • Competition. The Christmas tree industry is highly competitive and there are many established companies that have been in business for years. This can make it difficult to get the attention of potential customers when big stores like Walmart and Costco are selling trees at discounted prices.
  • Seasonal. The Christmas tree market is highly seasonal, meaning that farmers must be able to sell the majority of their trees during the holiday season.

7. Barrier to Entry

The barrier to entry into the Christmas tree industry is relatively low.

In most states, all that is required for a potential grower to enter the market is to obtain a nursery license and abide by general state regulations for growing and selling Christmas trees.

However, there are some challenges and considerations to be made.

One of the biggest challenges is finding a suitable plot of land for growing Christmas trees.

It typically takes 8-10 years for a tree to reach its full size, so potential growers must have access to land that can sustain them throughout this period.

In addition, it is important for potential growers to research and understand the local market for Christmas trees.

Knowing the supply, demand, and pricing dynamics in their area can help them make informed decisions about what type of tree to grow and how much to charge for it.

Finally, successful Christmas tree growers must be prepared to invest time and resources into marketing their trees and creating a positive customer experience.

8. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Christmas Tree Farm?

The cost of starting a Christmas tree farm can vary significantly, with estimates ranging from as low as $5,000 to as high as $90,000.

The cost of purchasing land for your farm will be a major factor in the overall startup cost, and those who already own land will have a significant advantage in this regard.

If you have land, then starting your farm will be dirt cheap.

Here are some things you need:

If you need land, you’re looking at an average of $40,000 on top of everything else.

However, depending on your location and parcel size this may be even higher.

Alternatively, it may be possible to enter a sharecropping arrangement with a landowner, in which you would be able to use the land in exchange for a share of the income generated by your tree farm.

A 50/50 split is common.

It is important to carefully consider all the costs involved in starting a Christmas tree farm and make a realistic budget before embarking on this venture.

9. Christmas Tree Farm Profit Per Acre Potential

Let’s assume you don’t need to purchase land and have plenty of space.

Growing Christmas trees can be a decent business, with a profit margin of 25-30% for each tree sold wholesale.

So, if a wholesale tree sells for around $35, you can expect roughly $10 in profit per tree

Between 800 and 1,500 Christmas trees can be grown on 1 acre depending on the species.

This means that if you grow 1,100 trees, you are looking at a rough profit of $11,000 per acre.

Just note that a Cut-Your-Own style business typically has higher profit margins (sometimes as high as 50%).

This estimate, of course, is just a back-of-the-envelope calculation and will vary depending on factors such as location, demand for Christmas trees, and the specific costs involved in operating a tree farm.

If you don’t have land, the profit margins are going to be significantly lower depending on the price of the land.

10. Factors That Increase Christmas Tree Sales

Everyone wants to earn the absolute most that they can on their products, but few know where to start.

If you are looking to increase your profits on each sale, there are a few factors you should consider.

An examination of the Christmas tree industry by the USDA reveals that to maximize sales, retailers should:

By following these methods, tree farmers have the potential to maximize earnings from the sale of their trees.

11. Grants to Start a Christmas Tree Farm

There are a variety of grants that may be available to help start a Christmas tree farm.

These grants can come from a range of sources, including federal and state government agencies, private foundations, and non-profit organizations.

Some examples of grants that may be relevant to those starting a Christmas tree farm include:

The FSA offers a variety of grants and loans to help farmers and ranchers start or expand their operations.

These grants may be available to those starting a Christmas tree farm, particularly if the farm is located in a designated underserved or socially disadvantaged area.

The NRCS offers grants and technical assistance to help farmers and ranchers protect and improve natural resources on their land.

These grants may be relevant for those starting a Christmas tree farm, as they can be used to help fund projects related to soil and water conservation, wildlife habitat improvement , and other natural resource management activities.

Many states offer grants and other funding opportunities specifically for farmers and ranchers.

These grants may be available to those starting a Christmas tree farm and can be used to fund a variety of expenses, including land acquisition, equipment purchases, and other startup costs.

It is important to research the specific grants that may be available in your area and to carefully review the eligibility requirements and application process for each grant before applying.

It may also be helpful to work with a local agricultural extension office to identify grants and other funding opportunities that could be relevant to your specific needs.

Final Thoughts

Starting a Christmas tree farm can be a rewarding and lucrative business venture, but it is important to do your research and plan carefully before taking the plunge.

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Erika Gokce Capital

Disclaimer: we are not lawyers, accountants, or financial advisors and the information in this article is for informational purposes only. This article is based on our own research and experience and we do our best to keep it accurate and up-to-date, but it may contain errors. Please be sure to consult a legal or financial professional before making any investment decisions.

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business plan for christmas tree farm

Small Business Trends

How to start a tree farm.

How to Start a Tree Farm

If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more .

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

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.

Small Business Deals

business plan for christmas tree farm

Start a Nursery

One feasible and lucrative route for people interested in starting a tree farm, particularly in an urban setting, is to launch a nursery. A tree nursery essentially involves the cultivation of young trees until they reach a certain age or size where they are suitable for selling or transplantation. This venture typically requires only a few years to produce a significant number of young trees for sale. The idea is to provide customers with a diverse selection of saplings, catering to their specific landscaping or horticulture needs.

Below is a detailed expansion of the necessary steps to establish a successful tree nursery:

  • Space Assessment: Firstly, evaluate the amount of space you have available. The size of your nursery will dictate the quantity and variety of trees you can grow. Small city lots can still be productive, especially with space-efficient methods like container gardening or vertical farming.
  • Market Research: Understand your potential customers. Determine what species of trees are in demand in your area. Your potential market could be homeowners looking for ornamental trees, local farmers requiring fruit trees, or companies in need of trees for landscaping projects.
  • Acquisition of Tree Seeds or Seedlings: Based on your market research, purchase a variety of tree seeds or seedlings that are in demand and suitable for the local climate. You may want to select a mix of fast-growing trees for quicker turnover and slower-growing varieties for long-term investment.
  • Nursery Set-Up: Prepare the land for planting. Depending on the size of your space and the type of trees you’re growing, you may use containers, raised beds, or directly sow seeds into the ground. Consider installing an irrigation system for efficient watering.
  • Tree Care: Regular care of the trees is essential. This involves watering, weeding, pruning, and protecting the young trees from pests and diseases. Learning about the specific needs of the tree species you’re growing will be essential.
  • Marketing and Selling: Once the trees are mature enough to be sold, devise a marketing strategy. This might include advertising online, collaborating with local businesses, or even setting up a roadside stand if your local laws permit.

Starting a nursery offers multiple benefits. In addition to the profit from selling trees, it also contributes to urban green space and provides environmental benefits like carbon sequestration and air purification. Whether it’s a small backyard operation or a larger commercial venture, a tree nursery can be a rewarding and beneficial enterprise.

business plan for christmas 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 o n. 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.

how to start a tree farm

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

When embarking on the journey to become a tree farmer, one fundamental aspect that can’t be overlooked is the acquisition of the right equipment. Just as a painter needs brushes and a carpenter needs a hammer, a tree farmer too needs specific tools to make the farming process efficient and successful. These essential tools can either be bought or rented, depending on your budget and long-term plans. However, irrespective of your chosen mode of acquisition, you’ll need to shop around to get the best deals and high-quality tools.

Outlined below is an expanded list of the primary tools and equipment you’ll need to successfully run your tree farm:

  • Shovels and Spades: These are necessary for digging holes for planting, moving dirt, and performing other necessary landscaping tasks.
  • Pruning Tools: These include pruning shears, loppers, and pruning saws. They are essential for trimming and shaping trees, removing dead or diseased branches, and promoting healthy growth.
  • Garden Rakes and Hoes: Useful for preparing the soil before planting and maintaining the area around the trees. They aid in the removal of weeds and the smoothing of soil.
  • Watering Tools: Depending on the size of your tree farm, this could range from simple watering cans to more sophisticated drip irrigation systems. These tools will ensure your trees get the right amount of water they need to thrive.
  • Wheelbarrows or Garden Carts: For a tree farm, you will need a way to move soil, compost, mulch, and even small trees around your property. A sturdy wheelbarrow or garden cart is indispensable.
  • Power Equipment: For larger operations, power equipment such as chainsaws, tree spades, and even tractors may be necessary. These will help in tasks like felling mature trees, transplanting large trees, and moving vast amounts of soil or mulch.
  • Protective Gear: Don’t forget about personal safety equipment. This includes gloves, sturdy footwear, safety glasses, and possibly even hard hats, particularly when dealing with mature trees or power equipment.
  • Seedling Trays and Containers: If you are starting trees from seeds or cuttings, you’ll need trays and containers. These help to nurture the young trees until they are ready for transplantation.
  • Soil Testing Kit: This tool is essential for determining the nutrient and pH levels of your soil, allowing you to make necessary adjustments for optimal tree health.
  • Fertilizer Spreaders: These can be handheld or push-style, but they make distributing fertilizers or other soil amendments much easier and more uniform.

Having the right equipment at your disposal will simplify your tree farming tasks and make your efforts more productive. Remember, this list can vary based on the specific needs of your farm, your budget, and the scale of your operation. In essence, efficient tools are the bedrock of a successful tree farm.

business plan for christmas tree farm

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.

Marketing Strategies for Tree Farms

In the competitive world of agriculture and forestry, effective marketing strategies are essential for the success of a tree farm. Whether you’re selling Christmas trees, ornamental varieties, or timber, the right approach to marketing can significantly boost your visibility and sales. Here are six key marketing strategies, each with a specific focus to help your tree farm thrive:

  • Develop a Strong Brand Identity : Establish a unique brand for your tree farm. This includes a memorable name, a distinctive logo, and a consistent theme in all your marketing materials. Your brand identity should resonate with your target market and reflect the quality and nature of your trees.
  •  Leveraging Customer Reviews and Testimonials Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews and share their testimonials, either on your website or social media platforms. Positive customer feedback can greatly influence potential buyers’ decisions and enhance your farm’s credibility.
  • Seasonal Promotions and Special Offers: Capitalize on seasonal trends and holidays, such as Christmas or Arbor Day, by offering special promotions or discounts. This can attract customers looking for seasonal tree types and creates an opportunity for increased sales during peak seasons.
  • Networking with Environmental Organizations: Network with environmental groups and participate in community reforestation projects or green initiatives. This not only helps in building a positive brand image but also opens up avenues for collaborations and sponsorships.
  • Utilizing Visual Content Marketing: Invest in high-quality photography and create engaging visual content such as videos or infographics. This type of content is highly shareable and effective in showcasing the beauty and diversity of your tree farm, helping to attract a wider audience online.
  • Leverage Social Media Marketing : Utilize platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach a broader audience. Share engaging content such as photos of your farm, tree care tips, and customer testimonials. Social media is also great for advertising seasonal promotions and events.
  • Create a User-Friendly Website : Build a professional website that showcases your tree farm and its products. Include high-quality images, detailed descriptions, and information about tree varieties. Ensure the website is easy to navigate and mobile-friendly.
  • Participate in Local Farmers’ Markets and Events: Engage with your local community by participating in farmers’ markets, local fairs, and other community events. These venues provide direct access to potential customers and help build local brand recognition.

business plan for christmas tree farm

Owning big land areas in different parts of the country, is the most proper way how to start Tree farms.

I believe this is the most eco friendly business available, To provide a stable yearly income, most growers plant or re-plant one-eighth of their acreage every year, which is about 200 trees per acre. According to the American Christmas Tree Association, the average price of a tree at a u-cut lot was $74 in 2017. With 200 ready-to-harvest trees per acre, that’s $14,800

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How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm Business

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Business ideas » Agriculture Industry » Crop Cultivation

Christmas Tree Farming Business

Are you interested in starting a Christmas tree farming business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a Christmas tree farm from scratch with little money and no experience plus a sample Christmas tree farming business plan template.

Christmas tree cultivation  is an  AGRICULTURAL, FORESTRY and horticultural and occupation which involves growing pine, spruce and fir trees specifically for use as Christmas tree. The first Christmas tree farm was established in 1901, but most consumers continued to obtain their trees from forests until the 1930s and 1940s.

Christmas tree farming was once seen only as a viable alternative for low-quality farmland, but that perception has changed within the agriculture industry. For optimum yield and quality, land should be flat or gently rolling and relatively free of debris and undergrowth.

A wide variety of pine and fir species are grown as Christmas trees, although a handful of varieties stand out in popularity. In the united states, Douglas-fir Scots pine and Fraser fir all sell well. Nordmann fir and Norway spruce sell well in the United Kingdom, the latter being popular throughout Europe.

The practice of cultivating evergreens specifically to sell as Christmas trees dates back to 1901, when a 25,000 tree Norway spruce farm was sown near Trenton, New Jersey. The commercial market for Christmas trees had started fifty years earlier when a farmer from the Catskill Mountains brought trees into New York City to sell.

Despite these pioneering efforts, most people still obtained wild-grown Christmas trees from forests into the 1930s and 1940s. More trees were grown in plantations after World War II, and by the 1950s farmers were shearing and pruning trees to meet customer demands.

In the united states, visits to Christmas tree farms have become a Christmas holiday tradition for people. Christmas tree farms have embraced this trend; at one Minnesota tree farm it has become tradition for customers to pose for snapshots with their trees, when they return in subsequent years they can check the “wall of memories” for their photo.

Today, tree farms offer more than just a chance to cut down a live Christmas tree. Outdoor and holiday themed activities are not uncommon and include wagon rides, offering hot cocoa or cider, Santa Claus visits and holiday crafts. Many tree farms actively encourage schools to sponsor field trips to the farms.

Steps to Starting a Christmas Tree Farm Business

1. understand the industry.

Christmas Trees were added to the federal agriculture census in 1997, when the responsibility for census shifted from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The agriculture census is conducted every five years.

Interesting Statistics About the Industry

While the first Christmas tree farm may have appeared as early as 1901,  Christmas tree production in the United States  was largely limited to what could be harvested from natural forests until the 1950s. Among the important Christmas tree producing areas in the U.S. are Wisconsin, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and the Pacific Northwest.

In 2002 Christmas tree production in the United States totalled 20.8 million trees and the U.S. was one of the world’s leading producers of natural Christmas trees. That same year, Pennsylvania was the top producer in the United States.

The first [Christmas tree farm] in the United States is believed to have begun in 1901 when 25,000 Norway Spruce trees were planted by W. V. McGalliard in Mercer County, near Trenton, New Jersey. The trees were sold seven years later for US$1.00 each. 

Despite the early pioneers of the industry, by the late 1940s 90 percent of all natural Christmas trees sold in the United States were still harvested from forests. The most popular species during that era, Balsam Fir, Douglas-fir, Black Spruce etc. were all readily available from forests. [3]

The total U.S. crop in 2004 was valued at $506 million with $143 million attributed to the nation’s leading producer in 2004, Oregon. Oregon was followed in production numbers by North Carolina, Washington, and Michigan.

The Christmas tree farm business is indeed growing from the facts and figures presented above, and it will continue to grow especially with the recreational attraction attached to those trees in this century. Many people are encouraged to delve into this farm business not only because of their love for farming, but also due to the fact that they enjoy the Christmas celebrations, and are willing to do everything within their reach to preserve its history.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic composition of those who need the services of Christmas tree farms cuts across the public sector, the organized private sector, households, communities and people of different class and from all walks of life.

Below is a list of the people and organizations that need the services of Christmas tree farms;

  • The public sector (public facilities et al)
  • Organized private sector (Corporate organizations)
  • Celebrities
  • Businessmen and Businesswomen
  • University Campuses and Schools
  • Event Planners
  • Estates and Communities
  • Religious Centres
  • Sport Organizations

3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

When it comes to starting a Christmas tree farm, there are a couple of niche ideas within the industry that an entrepreneur can choose from. Aside from the niches in the industry, an entrepreneur who is creative can carve a niche for himself / herself.

Here are some niches / areas that a Christmas tree farm can be specialized in;

  • Recreational centres for people during the Christmas season
  • Leveraging on cooperation with religious groups
  • Tree Shaking
  • Tree Baling

The Level of Competition in the Industry

Surviving in the business world as a Christmas tree farm requires more than, your expertise, knowing how to deliver good trees that will be appreciated by all is indeed a source of concern for all would-be tree farmers.

Without a shadow of doubt, many individuals and organizations are delving into this business, and are willing to put in their all to succeed in it. Therefore, the competition is becoming stiffer especially in this century when people really appreciate the trees for its historical and celebrated attachments.

In fact, some people are going as far as producing artificial tree farms which makes it even more difficult for those who toil, day and night to plant these trees get appreciated and compensated.

4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

There is hardly any industry where there are no well-known brands that have made it big in it. The Christmas tree farm is though not an exception as there are many brands (farms) that have carved out a name for themselves doing what they know how to do best.

Some of the popular farms/brands in the Christmas tree farm include:

  • Timberpeg Tree Farm
  • Clark’s Christmas tree farm
  • Croix Valley Christmas Tree farm
  • Bald Peak Christmas Tree Farm
  • Santa’s Shaped Christmas Tree Farm etc.

Economic Analysis

Starting a Farm generally is not a day’s job, hence specializing in starting a Christmas tree farm is indeed a herculean task.

This is because farming itself is a hard work that requires a lot of time, dedication and commitment. Due to this, critical economic analysis must be conducted to ensure that the risks and other threats associated with starting a business from the scratch or investing in a business idea are mitigated.

If you are considering starting a Christmas farm tree in the United States, your concern should not be restricted to just acquiring a farmland and getting the right species of trees in place. Your major concern should rather be on how to ensure that the farmland gotten is up to the required level that is needed for the planting, and the mechanization that is associated with it, to ensure that the trees come out well.

On the average, setting up and running a Christmas tree farm business in the United States can be cost effective simply because it’s not a business that requires having a large workforce, rather the best hands who are good in farming and know what it takes to indulge in such a business is the major consideration that must be taken into cognisance.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

Although there is the possibility of buying a farm from a successful farmer or even partnering with a big Christmas tree farm if you are considering owning an investment in the Christmas tree farm industry.

One thing is certain, people are motivated to start a business based on various factors and incentives. If you are looking towards building a business that you intend controlling, a business brand that you hope to one day transfer ownership to your children and perhaps also sell franchise in future, then starting from the scratch should be your best bet.

But if you only interested in making money and multiplying your wealth, then you may as well buy the franchise of a successful farm that is willing to sell its franchise.

But one thing certainly is paramount, and must be considered, starting a Christmas tree farm from scratch is indeed the best option. Because with these, all the economic analysis, advantages, disadvantages etc. will be critically considered so as to maximize profit and ensure that, the farm produces the best species of trees.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

Generally in the Christmas tree farm, both the already established ones, and start – up farms are subject to threat and challenges from government policies, global economic downturn which usually affects spending and unforeseen natural disasters (disasters that may cause setback).

Another threat that you are likely going to face when you start your own Christmas tree farm is the proliferation of the market with artificial Christmas trees as an alternative to the natural ones. This threat posed to the genuine Christmas tree farmers is indeed a challenge that all farmers must watch out for.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

No doubt starting a Christmas tree farm is indeed a serious business which is why the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business to can grow. choosing a legal entity for a business such as a Christmas tree farm is some worth straightforward especially if you are indeed positioning your farm for huge success in the market.

When it comes to choosing a legal entity for your Christmas tree farm you have the option of choosing from a general partnership, a limited partnership, an LLC, a “C” corporation, or a “S” corporation.

It is important to clearly state that these different forms of legal structure for business has its own advantages and disadvantages; which is why you must weigh your options properly before making your choice on the legal structure to build your farm on.

These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your Christmas tree farm; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and tax issues.

If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your Christmas tree farm, then you will agree that Limited Liability Company; an LLC is the most suitable. You can start your farm as a limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or even a ‘S’ corporations especially when you have the plans of going public.

Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will afford you the opportunity to grow Christmas tree farm and make you go public, this is indeed the turning point for most businesses and farms.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name

When it comes to choosing a name for your Christmas tree farm, there are no hard and fast rules to follow. This is so because Christmas tree farms are not like other business who hopes that their names can help them attract passers-by who may just walk in to want to do business with them; there is no rule of thumb.

Here are some catchy business name ideas you can choose for your private security company;

  • Williams and co. farms
  • ABC Christmas tree Farms
  • Junior & sons farms ltd.
  • Jessica Tree Farms
  • Queens farms Limited

9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

In the United States and of course in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that is required by the industry you want to operate from. Besides, the nature of the farm industry requires that you have the proper insurance cover in place or else you will be forced out of business if anything goes wrong with the farm.

So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best insurance policies for your Christmas tree farm; it is their duty to help you assess the risks involved in the type of farm you intend running and then advise you accordingly.

Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own Christmas tree farm in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Risk Insurance
  • Payment protection insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Workers Compensation
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

There is really no intellectual property that is been protected in the Christmas tree farm and other aspects of farming generally. What is required mostly in this business is to ensure that all products from a particular farm are well noted to make sure that, no one else claims to be the producer of a product from your farm.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

The farm industry is one of the industries that is highly regulated so as to prevent costly malpractices and sharp practices by some persons who might want to cut corners and climb up the ladder without putting in much effort.

It is for this reason that if you are looking towards beginning a farm, you should ensure that all necessary certifications that will portray you as a professional are well sought out for. Though, there are really no professional certifications that is required for farming except that you must acquire the requisite knowledge of farming from a recognized institution.

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

In The United States of America and of course all over the world, the farm industry is amongst the industries that is highly regulated so as to avoid malpractices in the farm industry in the country. If you are considering starting a Christmas tree farm, then you are expected to meet the legal documents requirements as stipulated in the constitution of your country.

These are some of the basic legal document that you are expected to have in place if you want to start a Christmas tree farm in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Security Clearance Certificate
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement
  • Company Bylaws
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy

13. Write a Business Plan

If you are looking towards starting a Christmas tree farm, then one of the first steps that you are expected to take is to consult experts to help you write a good and workable business plan. The truth is that, in order to successfully run a farm, you would need to have a good business plan in place.

A Business plan is the blue print that is needed to successfully run a business; with a workable business plan in place, you will reduce the trial and error approach of doing business. You will be able to manage your business with purpose and perhaps precisions; you will know what to do per time and how to handle challenges, growth and expansion.

So if you want to start your own Christmas tree farm, you are required to write a detailed business plan that can pass reality test when subjected to it; you should work with the facts, figures and other indices in the farm industry as it applies to the country you intend starting the business.

The whole idea of writing a business plan is not just for the sake of having a business document in place; but a detail guide on how to effectively run your business from the scratch. Your business plan should outline and cover strategies on how you intend to manage and grow your own Christmas tree farm.

14. Prepare a Detailed Cost Analysis

There are several expenses that you would have to make before successfully launching your own Christmas tree farm. It is important to state that the location you choose to launch your business will definitely impact on the overall cost of starting the business which is why it is very important to have concluded and analyzed your feasibility studies and market survey before drawing up a budget and sourcing for funding for your business.

Here are some of the basic cost you must look towards fulfilling when starting a Christmas tree farm in the United States of America

  • The Total Fee for incorporating the Business in United States of America – $750.
  • The budget for Insurance, permits and license – $5,000
  • The Amount needed to buy a land – $1000,000.
  • The Cost for mechanizing the farms- $10,000
  • The Cost of Launching an official Website – $700
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,500
  • Other miscellaneous – $1,000

Going by the report from our research and feasibility studies, we will need about $120,000 to set up a small scale Christmas tree farm in the United States of America.

On the average, you would need a over 200,000 US dollars to start a medium scale Christmas tree farm in the United States of America. If you choose to start a large scale Christmas tree farm, then you should look towards budgeting about 2 million US dollars and above. This money include paying labourers hourly wages for working on the farm.

15. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

If you choose to start your Christmas tree farm on a small scale, you might not need loads of resources to launch the business, but if you decide to start on a large scale, you will sure need to raise the required start – up capital to launch the business.

If you are starting your Christmas tree farm on a large scale, you will need a decent farm land, and money budgeted for the payment of salaries and utility bills for at least a period of 3 months and you will also need money to purchase the seedlings and pay wages to labourers.

When it comes to financing a business, one of the first thing and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan in place, you may not have to labour yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.

Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start – up capital for your Christmas tree farm;

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Applying for Loan from your Bank / banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.

16. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

Choosing a location for your business is not what you should do without due consultation. The truth is that if you get it wrong with the location where you have decided to pitch your business tent, you are more likely going to struggle to make headway with the business. One of the major reasons why businesses struggle, fail and eventual close shop is the fact that the owners decided to choose a wrong location for the business.

Therefore, if you are just starting out; especially if you are a newbie in the farm industry, it is important that you locate your business in an area with healthy business activities.

These are some of the factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your farm;

  • The demography of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The numbers of private security companies in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community / state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al

17. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

If you are about starting a Christmas tree farm, then you should be ready to purchase effective equipment and mechanised machines, this is what you are expected to spend part of your start-up capital on.

When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing an office space, the size of Christmas farm tree you want to build, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a farm, then you should consider the option of leasing a facility for your farm; when you lease, you will be able to work with long – term planning.

Also, the major manpower details needed in this industry is labourers who will have to work day and night on the farm to ensure that it produces well.

The Service Delivery Process of the Business

The services process involved in the Christmas tree farm depends on the niches of farm industry a company is into. On the average, the process starts with ensuring that someone gets a good farmland to run the business,

Secondly, once the trees have matured, it is now the onus of the farmer to ensure that he sells the trees or use it for recreational activities.

18. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

Christmas tree farm is a business that you have to retail products which is why you must do all you can to maximize any opportunity that comes your way.

So when you are drafting your marketing ideas and strategies for your Christmas tree farm, make sure that you have different and good species of trees that can be patronised by clients. Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your Christmas tree farm;

  • Advertise your business in relevant business magazines, TV and radio station.
  • List your business on local directories / yellow pages (both online and offline)
  • Attend farm related expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
  • Leverage on the internet to promote your business
  • Join local chambers of commerce around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your Christmas tree farm.
  • Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to all the corporate organizations, community leaders, schools, hospitals, hotels and government offices in your target area.
  • Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets.

19. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

It might be challenging competing as a newbie in the Christmas tree farm especially in a highly organized market like that of the United States of America, which is why you must be deliberate in choosing the species of trees you plant.

As a Christmas tree farm, if you have the required expertise and equipment to carry out a Christmas tree farm, then you are likely not going to struggle to compete in the industry. Hence, ensure that you put in your best to ensure that you make farming more professional. You should be known for delivering excellent species of trees at all times. Creativity, excellence and attention must be your watchword.

Lastly, ensure that your organization is well positioned and if possible form strategic partnership with other key stakeholders in the farm industry; it will sure give you competitive advantage over your competitions.

20. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

When it comes to business no matter the industry you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customers’ retention and perhaps to attract new customers is to satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider or products.

Statistics has it that one of the major reasons why customer’s source for alternative service provider or product is when there is a drop in quality. Another reason is poor customer service. If you can continue to improve on the quality or your services and your customer service delivery, then you won’t struggle to maintain your loyal customers.

With a customized system you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick survey, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries especially during the festive season, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk text messages and customized e – mails and above all you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).

21. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

When it comes to creating brand identity for a Christmas tree farm, the calibre of species of products that your farm produces is indeed a selling point on its own.

It is pretty important to work with your consultants to help you map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help you walk your way into the heart of your target market. First and foremost, you should ensure that your brand is visible and well communicated which is why you should make provisions to work with different class of people in the society. All your publicity materials and jingles should be done by some of the best hands in the industry.

Below are the platforms you should leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your private security company;

  • Advertise your business in relevant magazines and websites
  • Promote your business on satellite TV stations and radio stations.
  • Engage in direct email marketing
  • Leverage on the internet (social media platforms and your official websites) to promote your business
  • Ensures that your workers wear your branded shirts at all times during working hours and also make sure you brand all your company’s official vans, trucks and cars et al.

22. Create a Suppliers / Distribution Network

The nature of the farm industry gives room for farmers to network amongst themselves and also network with government own farming agencies.

It is important to state that there will always be room for farmers to form strategic alliance with one another which is why it is important to maintain a good network within the industry. For example, you may have need for the supply of a particular species of crops; it is not mandatory for your organization to specialize in these areas trees, but with a good marketing network in place, that will be feasible.

23. Tips for Running a Christmas Tree Farming Business Successfully

The truth is that, irrespective of the kind of business you run, your ability to get all the members of your team on same page at all times is one of the keys you need to successfully run the organization.

As the chief executive officer or president of a Christmas tree farm, it is your responsibility to give direction to the business. Part of what you need to do is to ensure that you create time for office meetings; a time where challenges, feedbacks, projections and relevant issues are discussed. The meetings could be daily, once in a week, twice a week or once in a month. The bottom line is that there should be consistent meetings in your organization.

Carrying out appraisals on a regular basis and training your employees will help you run your organization effectively. Encourage your employees to pursue certifications in their various area of specializations; it will help your organization’s profile and of course it will help the individuals. You can choose to fully or partially sponsor some of the certifications.

Lastly, you should keep your doors open for suggestions from members of your team and your clients. It is very important to reward excellent performance in your organization; it will go a long way to encourage healthy competition in your organization.

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  • How Many Acres of Blueberries Do You Need to Farm to Be Profitable?

How to Make Money Selling Christmas Trees (Christmas Tree Lot Business Plan)

by Saeed - Verified & Updated May 25, 2022 (This post may contain affiliate links.)

Here's a quick guide on how to sell Christmas trees these holiday season and make money...

A great way to make money during Christmas is to start your very own Christmas tree lot in your neighborhood.

There is an empty lot a few blocks from where I live. Every year, a month or so before Christmas, there is a guy who rents out this lot and sets up shop selling Christmas trees. I’ve been living here for a few years now. He’s been doing this every single year.

I had a chance to talk with him once. So asked him a few questions that most people considering selling Christmas trees would have.

My main questions were:

  • How much money can you make?
  • Where do you buy your Christmas trees wholesale?

He wouldn’t reveal his sources (rightly so – he thought I might have been competition for him). But he told me finding a Christmas tree farmer and working directly is the best way to go.

But he did tell me how much money he makes selling his trees.

According to him, he has been averaging around $15,000 to $30,000 every season .

That’s more than some of us make in our jobs during the entire year!

What will I learn?

Why Selling Christmas Trees is a Good Business?

No matter how bad the economy gets, no matter how bad people’s financial lives get, a Christmas tree is one thing that they will still spend money on.

And for an entrepreneurial-minded person, that means an opportunity.

Get this…

According to Statista , on average, people spent $50.82 on real and $69.38 on fake Christmas trees in 2015. Multiply that number by the number of households living just in your local area and you can see how viable a business selling Christmas trees is.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are close to 15,000 farms growing Christmas Trees in the U.S. , and over 100,000 people have full or part-time jobs thanks to this industry.

So it’s fair to say, even though it’s a seasonal business (Christmas tree lots pop up in November and last until December) it’s one that employs hundreds of thousands of people throughout the year.

Where Do People Buy Their Trees From?

Around 24% of customers get their trees from farms that sell Christmas trees while 68% buy their trees from retail outlets and seasonal Christmas tree lots. The remaining percentage of consumers go digital and buy their Christmas trees online instead.


That means if you set up a Christmas tree lot, you will have access to 68% of the market.


Christmas Tree Lot Business Plan

Here is a quick overall guide on how to get a Christmas tree-selling business going.

1. Find a supplier (Tree Farms)

To start a Christmas tree business, you need a supplier that can get you trees in bulk.

But where do people buy their Christmas trees in bulk?

Tree farms!

That’s right, the best place to buy Christmas trees in bulk and cheap is a tree farm.

And to find a farm near you, all you have to do is do a few searches on Google.

Use terms like:

  • Christmas tree wholesale near me
  • Christmas tree farms near me

Once you’ve found a farm or two, be sure to ask about their bulk pricing. Compare the quotes from a few different farms and go with the best one.

Of course, if you own a piece of land, you could grow your own trees (but that’s much more labor-intensive and demands some initial startup funds).

If you do decide to go that route, be sure to read this guide from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. It has everything you need to know before you start growing Christmas trees on your land.

2. Pick a lot

This is the part most people may have some issues with.

If you own a lot somewhere where there is a high foot or car traffic, then you’re golden.

If you don’t own a lot, you’ll have to rent one. Prices vary from location to location.

Generally, you want a lot that is easily seen and can be accessed quickly and easily as well.

Parking lots of big plazas and even major department stores are some of the best spots. You can catch people while they are in their holiday shopping mood.

Of course, it won’t be easy to rent such spots. The good news is that it is possible. Other people are doing it. It just takes a little work.

3. Get your tree lot ready

Ok, now you have your wholesale supplier and you have a visible lot in a great location.

The next step is to make your lot look like it’s the place to buy Christmas trees.

There is really not much to do here but to organize your trees in neat rows based on size and decorate some of the trees.

Still, there is one thing missing!

You only have trees. You need to add a few more things – wreaths and a few other holiday-related handmade items.

Having those few extra items will help to increase your sales. It adds visual interest, and in some cases, that’s all you need to convert an “I’m just browsing” consumer to an “I’m buying it right now” customer.

3. Advertise your Christmas tree selling business

Finding a high traffic area can get you halfway there.

But if you want to really make money, you have to get the word out.

  • Facebook posts
  • Free Craigslist ads
  • Bulletin boards of the local grocery and department stores
  • Word of mouth
  • Ads in local newspapers

There are tons of ways to market your business.

Think outside of the box.

Tips to Increase Sales

When Christmas Day is near, say like a few days away, lower the prices of your trees.

Another way to increase your revenue is to offer delivery services for the trees. The trees are pretty huge and it is not easy for some people to bring them home. Buyers will then be looking out for delivery services and you could have trucks to transport the trees back to their homes just in time for Christmas.

Make somebody’s holiday special

If you have leftover trees that did not sell, you can donate them to poor and needy families.

Not only will you make these families happy during the Christmas season, but it will also save you from paying the fees for the disposal of the trees.

Happy Holidays!

Hopefully, this quick guide gave you a few tips and some insight into what you need to do to get started.

Obviously, starting any business, be it a full-fledged business or a seasonal side hustle , is hard work and takes a lot of time and dedication, but it can be incredibly rewarding.

And making money selling Christmas trees is not only financially rewarding but also emotionally rewarding as you get to see the faces of adults and kids light up when they find the perfect Christmas tree!

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business plan for christmas tree farm

What a side hustle! Never thought tree stands were so profitable but that’s a nice deal! I only recall one stand around us so the market may be for the taking. Plus I live in NC which has a ton of Xmas tree farms! Thanks for the break down.

business plan for christmas tree farm

How many trees does the average lot sell in a season?

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Woods Tree Farm

What To Know About Setting Up A Christmas Tree Lot

by Phil Woods | Oct 28, 2020 | Christmas Trees

business plan for christmas tree farm

We’re coming up on our 2nd year selling Christmas trees, and there are a few things we learned in our first year that we want to be sure to incorporate or improve upon for our 2nd season.

Selling Christmas trees is a lot of work, but its rewarding and enjoyable.

With any business, location is important. Since we’re selling trees from our farm property, we’re somewhat stuck with the location, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give location and layout more consideration.

Proximity to Customers

Most tree lots try to set up in a populated or high traffic area. We’re doing something a little bit different, and we’re trying to draw people to our rural farm. What this means is that we’re probably not going to sell thousands of trees from our lot. We’re OK with this, since our main goal is to introduce people to our farm and offer a good family-oriented farm experience. In the coming years, the trees we’re growing will be ready to harvest, and we’ll be inviting families to choose and cut their own trees from our property.

There are a number of considerations related to the Christmas tree lot layout. For one, think about accessibility and proximity to parking. The most convenient place for trees on our property is a little bit of a walk from our parking area. This means we’ll be using additional equipment and staff to help shuttle trees to customer’s vehicles.

Another consideration for the layout is for the actual trees. Do you want straight rows, or a maze, or some other random pattern? Think about the experience you want to provide, and how you want customers to navigate your tree lot. We went for a somewhat random appearance with lots of space in between trees for people to browse and find their perfect tree.

Merchandise and Upsells

In our first year, we had very little additional merchandise available for sale. On our farm, we have several different ways we add to the experience, like hot chocolate, marshmallows, photo area and hay ride. With these extra experiences, people will spend more time, and that provides more time for customers to spend more money.

business plan for christmas tree farm

This year, we’re going to have a larger selection of wreaths, ornaments and other decorations for sale. We’ll also have s’more kits available.

Make It An Experience

What additional elements can be added to your tree lot to improve the on-site experience? Hot coffee or hot chocolate are common additions.

business plan for christmas tree farm

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Photos with Santa
  • Story time with Santa
  • Festive music
  • DIY craft for the kids
  • Personalized ornaments

Don’t Forget About The Experience After The Sale

Many of your customers will be getting a real Christmas tree for the first time. Its up to your good experience, quality product, and a little education to ensure those customers become real Christmas tree purchasers year after year after year.

Educate on Tree Types

Its up to you to tell your customers about the types of trees you have available. Tell your customers what to expect as far as needle drop, and whether the tree can accommodate heavy ornaments or not.

Educate on Tree Care

Before the customer leaves the lot, make a fresh cut off the bottom of the stump. Make sure they can get the tree in water within an hour or two. If not, let them know they should make another fresh cut off the bottom before putting the tree in HOT water.

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Starting a Business | Tip List

27 Most Profitable Small Farm Ideas

Published September 6, 2023

Published Sep 6, 2023

Meaghan Brophy

REVIEWED BY: Meaghan Brophy

Karina Fabian

WRITTEN BY: Karina Fabian

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This article is part of a larger series on Starting a Business .

Starting A Business?

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  • 1 Rural Agriculture Small Farm Ideas
  • 2 Low Capital Small Farm Ideas
  • 3 Urban Agriculture Small Farm Ideas
  • 4 B2B Small Farm Ideas
  • 5 Agritourism Small Farm Ideas
  • 6 Bottom Line

Technology and imagination have created more opportunities for farmers to develop a profitable business. Small farms (earning less than $50,000 annually or occupying less than 180 acres) in particular can profit from less traditional farming like beekeeping, microgreens, or even hops, as well as alternative income sources like agritourism.

According to the USDA , in 2023 net farm income will be 26.6% above its 20-year average (2002–2021) of $115.2 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Looking for new ways to add life to your farm? Here are 27 of the most profitable small farming ideas:

Rural Agriculture Small Farm Ideas

Rural farms are located in outlying areas of the country. The vast land area is perfect for cultivating food crops, rearing livestock, and hunting; however, farming activities are highly dependent upon the seasons and natural weather conditions. Here are some profitable small farming ideas suited for rural areas.

1. Tree Nursery

A tree nursery can be a great investment when done right. Most farmers start with 10–20 seedlings on a small plot, and with the right marketing strategy, have the baby trees sold out before they mature. Seedlings run from 15 cents to $1.50 per tree, and a sapling of two years can sell for $20 to $100, making for a large profit, if you have the time to wait.

Spend some time researching how to organically source the trees you want to grow. Fruit tree propagation, for example, can be done by grafting or budding (joining parts from multiple plants), and this increases your chances of producing the same variety of trees as opposed to using seeds.

If you have 10 or more acres, experience growing trees, and the right climate, Christmas tree farms can be a profitable option. You need to watch the trees as they grow, pruning them to make sure they are healthy and bushy for the holidays.

You might also consider this spin on the tree nursery idea:

“Start an adopt-a-tree program. This allows farmers to do what they do best—grow things. To start, you’ll need to have a simple website. But if you run a farm, you should have one anyway. The next thing you’ll need are the actual trees and the tools to plant them. Invest in a good quality camera to take pictures of the trees for the people adopting them. Take pictures when you plant them and as they grow to use as proof that you planted the trees. Finally, have certificates printed up to show adoption of the trees and ones that are to be given as a gift or memorial.”

— Julie Austin, CEO, Creative Innovation Group

2. Fish Farming

Fish farming is an ideal business idea for investors with available land, and it doesn’t always require a body of water. You can start a fish farm either by creating fish ponds or investing in fish tanks; it’s a highly scalable business idea. Once you have the proper knowledge of fish raising, you will be able to decide the type of fish to raise. According to FinModelsLab , a well-run fish farm can produce a return on investment (ROI) of 5%–10%.

Fish such as tilapia, cod, trout, and catfish are popular because they are easy to raise and in high demand. Small-scale farms are the usual suppliers of fish in their local supermarkets and restaurants.

Other popular varieties of fish that are commercially raised are:

  • Yellow Perch

Not all fish are raised for food. Goldfish and koi are popular fish to farm as well.

The decision as to which fish you want to raise will ultimately rely on your skill, financial capacity, market demand, and agro-climatic condition. This refers to the normal soil types, rainfall, temperature, and water availability that affects the type of vegetation in the area.

3. Dual Crop Farming

Dual crop farming or multiple cropping can be either mixed cropping or intercropping. Mixed cropping refers to raising two or more types of crops in the same area while intercropping is raising different crops in close proximity. Dual crop farming is very popular among farmers because it optimizes the use of equipment, soil, and water as well as farming supplies; it also maximizes the production of a small farm all year-round.

Farmers like that it reduces the risk of total loss from calamities, drought, pests, and diseases. Some good examples of multiple cropping are growing strawberries and watermelons in Florida or wheat and soybeans in addition to corn and canola in the Carolinas.

4. Goat Farming

Goats are highly versatile livestock. Goat milk products are expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% from 2023 to 2030 as more and more people seek an alternative to cow’s milk for infant food, allergies, and nutrition. A quick look online shows goat milk selling for $4.50 to $23 per gallon, and the milk can be made for cheese or even soap. The initial outlay for milking equipment can be expensive, and goats need to be milked twice a day.

Goats aren’t just for milking. Angora goats produce mohair and cashmere. Plus, you can rent goats out for brush removal, as petting animals, for photo shoots, and even for goat yoga! The demand for goat meat is increasing as well and can sell for as much as $22 per pound. Different breeds of goats are needed for milking or meat (although they all will eat the weeds).

Three goats peeking out of a log fence. By MabelAmber on Pixabay.

Goats are versatile animals for profitable small farming. (Source: Pixabay)

No matter the business, you’re going to need a way to accept payments. Whether selling at a market or online, Square’s free point of sale is a great place to start. It’s quick and easy to set up, and you’ll have no long-term commitments. Even accept payments while offline. Get started today with Square POS .

5. Alpaca Farming

Alpaca ranching is easier than cattle or horse ranching, and with as little as an acre of land, you can raise five alpacas. They are best for fleece, which is sheared annually. Raw fleece runs $3 an ounce , so they are better as a supplement to your farm. The bigger profit is in breeding and stud fees. Plus, they’re so cute that some farms get side income from photos or social media.

Alpacas will live amiably with other livestock and are good guard animals, ready to run off a fox or defend their territory or fellow animals. Some farmers have found a side business in renting out their alpacas as “guard sheep.” You can also sell their manure, as it’s a good source of nitrogen and potassium.

Low-capital Small Farm Ideas

If you’re short on capital, there are some low-cost business ideas that are easy to start. While these types of farm businesses usually earn less than other farms that invest in land and equipment, they continue to provide a steady stream of income.


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6. herb gardening.

According to Profitable Plants , “Just one small backyard growing bed with 100 square feet of growing space will hold 400 potted herb plants with a retail value of over $2,400.” When starting your own herb garden, emphasize variety and choose herbs in local demand for easier sales. You can start an herb business with small farmers market sales from your backyard, selling herbs that you cut, the plants, seeds, or all three, but also check with local restaurants, herbalists, or essential oil makers. If you grow catnip, you can sell it to pet stores, or make catnip toys. Also, consider selling your herb and herb products online.

7. Bee Farming

Apiculture or beekeeping often starts as a hobby, and the capital needed to begin is quite low. According to Beekeeping for Newbies , it costs about $760 for the first year for a single hive, protective gear, and basic tools. In addition to honey, you can sell bee byproducts such as beeswax, bee pollen, and royal jelly. Bee pollen and royal jelly are considered superfoods and are sold at a high price. You can also rent out beehives for added income.

You only need a small area in your backyard but need to check local ordinances (and HOA if applicable) to make sure beekeeping is allowed.

There are many ways to get your first set of bees:

  • Catch a swarm: If you live at a location where bees are often found, you can opt to catch your own swarm for free.
  • Buy a bee package: This package consists of about 3 pounds of bees with a young, mated queen. Large bee farms regularly sell bee packages in the spring for about $180 each.
  • Nucleus hive: Typically consists of a box with five frames of bees, brood, pollen, nectar, and a fertile, laying queen bee. They are sold between April to June for about $200.
  • Full hive: This simply means an entire hive setup, including an existing colony that large beekeepers sell to beginner bee farmers for around $300 each.
  • Split hive: Split hives are created when several frames of an existing colony are moved to a new box where a new queen is introduced. They’re often sold for around $200 each.

Beginner bee farmers are encouraged to purchase a nucleus hive as it helps them learn the basics of beekeeping and nurture its growth. You will also need other equipment such as protective gear, hive tools, a bee brush, and a honey extractor.

In today’s world, profitable farming includes online as well as in-person sales. To sell your farm products online, you’ll want an easy-to-use ecommerce software. Shopify is one of the best ecommerce software as it is easy to use and feature-rich and has a mobile and register point-of-sale option if you sell in person on the farm or at farmers markets.

8. Aquaponics

Aquaponics is a farming method that combines aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water). This means farmers produce crops using less water and land. That means lower investment and a faster yield. Experts advise beginners to start small and expand as they learn how to maximize their production.

Aquaponics is expected to have a CAGR of 7.15% between 2023 and 2027 . Getting started costs between $2,000 and $7,000 for equipment and stock, and a well-run farm can generate profits of $5–$10 per square foot per year, per BootstrapBee .

9. Microgreens Farming

Microgreens are young vegetables or baby plants that are around 10–14 days old and one to 3 inches tall. They are the small edible vegetables that restaurants use in salads or as garnish. Chefs add them to create depth of flavor. According to Microgreens Farmer , a standard rack can produce $800 or more. The microgreen market grew from $1.71 billion in 2022 to $1.94 billion in 2023 with a CAGR of 13.7% .

Beginner farmers should consider this business because microgreens are easy to grow, turnaround time is high, and it requires little investment to start. You can grow them indoors or outdoors, although for year-round yield, you need a greenhouse, which can get pricey. Plus, most microgreens like temperatures similar to our homes. While any young vegetable can work, here are some of the more popular microgreens:

  • Mustard greens
  • Swiss chard

vegetable farming

With the right strategy, farming herbs and microgreens for commercial use can be a very lucrative small investment venture.

Generally speaking, the more land required to start a farming business, the higher the investment cost. As the cost of an acre of farmland averages to around $3,800 across the country, maximizing the use of a small area can help in bringing down the cost of starting a farm business.

Urban Agriculture Profitable Small Farm Ideas

Urban agriculture is a farming business located in densely populated areas such as cities. This mostly refers to cultivating, processing, and distributing food products but can also include small-scale livestock and fishery. Space and pollution can be challenges, but local restaurants and supermarkets may seek urban farmers for a closer supply of fresh produce.

10. Vegetable Landscaping

Starting a landscaping business can be expensive, but farmers who want to opt for a greener path should enter this world of edible landscaping. This option creates more flexible opportunities so your required startup capital will be considerably lower. You will mostly be investing in tools to grow vegetables either on freshly tilled soil or in containers. When using pots, remember to purchase the ones that are eight to 12 inches deep; also, space them out evenly, so you can maximize your yield.

“Urban areas have many food deserts—places where there are no quality products available for residents. There are also many suburban homeowners with too much landscape to maintain on their own. By launching an urban vegetable landscaping business, you can tap into readily available lawns that homeowners do not wish to maintain themselves. They will pay you for your work (and workers), and all you need to do to keep them happy is offer a few vegetables in return each week. Take the surplus product, and sell it at a local farmers market or on street corners if permissible.”

— Gregory Heilers, Agricultural Technology Writer, G.P. Heilers Writing & Editing

11. Hydroponic Farming

Hydroponics is the process of growing crops with nutrient-rich water kept in contact with the plant roots instead of using soil. This process significantly reduces the risk of wastage and pollution that can harm the produce and cause diseases, which appeals to health-conscious consumers. Like aquaponics, the minimal use of land area needed also makes hydroponics a low-cost investment. Plus hydroponic plants grow 40% faster and produce 30% more than those grown in soil. This means you will have more products available to sell.

There are different hydroponic systems farmers can learn and try:

  • Static: Plants are grown in tubs or plastic buckets. Water may be unaerated or gently aerated (water infused with gas).
  • Continuous flow: The nutrient-rich water solution constantly flows past the roots, so plants can absorb oxygen better.
  • Aeroponics: Plant roots are only misted with a nutrient solution instead of submerged in liquid.
  • Ebb and flow: Plants are flooded with water and then drained several times a day.

Hydroponics is all about careful management of the environment for your plants. So while it seems like an easy business to try as a beginner farmer, take your time analyzing your options and learning about hydroponics from experts before you start your own.

12. Cannabis Farming

If you live in an area where cannabis use is legal , cannabis is another profitable farming alternative. Although you can produce better quality plants in a controlled environment, the easiest way to start is by growing them outdoors. Having a large backyard is an advantage; It helps keep your investment low while giving you a flexible space with which to work.

Growing cannabis outdoors can cost as little as $10 per square foot , although a greenhouse helps by providing an efficient, controlled environment. According to Medicgrow , a 5’x5’ grow space indoors costs about $225 per pound, with a 10.5-pound yield.

  • Best Cannabis Payment Processing Companies in 2023
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13. Rooftop Tea Garden

A rooftop tea garden, a twist on the more common rooftop gardens found in many cities, has many potentials for profit. Naturally, you can grow a variety of aromatic and medicinal herbs and greens to sell directly to consumers. But if you have the ability, you can also create a rustic coffee and tea shop directly on the rooftop. You’d need to partner with the landlord or whoever has legal right to use the rooftop, and of course, it helps to know or partner with someone for running the cafe.

Some important things to consider before designing your rooftop garden:

  • Review building codes: Check with your local government to see if there are rules about creating rooftop gardens in your area. Also, ask about possible restrictions that can affect the kind of business you want to put up.
  • Monitor how much the roof is exposed to the elements: Sun and wind exposure are critical if you want to properly grow your tea garden. Make sure that your plants will get enough sunlight and shade and are protected against strong gusts of wind; it’s a good idea to include solutions for these issues in your business plan.
  • Determine your rooftop’s loading capacity: Rooftops do have a maximum limit to the weight they can hold, and it is important to know and take this data into account when designing your garden. Consult with a structural engineer who can determine this information exactly and keep the building and your business safe.

It can take a lot of work to start your own rooftop tea garden, but a well-designed and run tea garden cannot only provide profit but also a beautiful escape from the city without having to leave the neighborhood.

rooftop farming

Rooftop farmers have the advantage of creating a versatile space for a combination of business ideas.

As with any business, there are certain risks involved when starting your own farm. Rural farms, in particular, can be seriously affected by calamities and natural disasters that threaten both crops and livestock. It is, therefore, important to be prepared by knowing your options such as how to apply for disaster loans .

B2B Profitable Small Farm Ideas

B2B farming is a business method that farmers use when producing agricultural products to supply business clients. Businesses—including restaurants, grocers, and even brewers—prefer to deal with farmers directly for the low cost and quality. While many of the suggestions above can also work in the B2B market, here are some favorites.

14. Snail Farming

Heliciculture, or snail farming, can be a very lucrative business venture. Most large snails are edible and can be sold at a high price, but some breeds are more popular in specific locations, so find out what businesses in your area are after. That helps you create the right habitat and food sources, too.

Snails thrive in areas like California where the climate and well-tilled soil are suited to their growth, and since they are considered agricultural pests, you can easily ask organic farm owners to let you harvest them.

Some of the things you need to consider when starting a snail farm are:

  • Climate control: The ideal temperature for growing snails is between 16° to 24°C (60° to 75°F); they also need humidity, so include sprinklers and humidifiers.
  • Soil requirements: Snails thrive in well-cultivated soil and groomed gardens because of their nutrient-rich quality. Calcium in the soil is important for the snail’s shell. Soil should also be at least 2 inches deep for egg-laying purposes.
  • Farming system: Protect and contain snails in pens that are either inside a building or greenhouse or with plastic tunnel houses.
  • Food source: Snails drink water and eat various types of feeds, but they also survive on natural food such as vegetables like cabbage, flowers, fruits, most green leaves, and microscopic algae.
  • State regulations: Interstate movement and shipping of snails are strictly controlled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as these creatures are considered invasive plant pests. Check for your state’s rules and requirements on raising a snail farm so you can obtain the necessary permits to operate.

Snail farming is still considered a niche in the US, so there is more opportunity for farmers to profit by supplying fresh snails to restaurateurs and other snail enthusiasts. There’s also a growing demand for snail slime in the cosmetics industry and even live snail facials.

15. Mushroom Farming

Mushrooms are relatively easy to cultivate, considering that they can grow in the wild, even in the harshest of conditions. Making a profitable business out of mushroom farming will depend on knowing which mushroom strain to cultivate and how to maximize your production to become a steady supplier to other businesses.

Gourmet mushrooms such as oyster and shiitake are some of the most sought-after variations of mushrooms in the market. Indoor production provides a better harvest; they can even be grown in bags. It only takes an average of six weeks to grow and harvest mushrooms that are ready to be sold. Mushroom farmers harvest an average of 25 pounds of produce per square foot every year and sell them for $6 to $8 per pound .

16. Organic Farming

Generally speaking, organic farming is a method of raising crops and livestock, but thanks to a growing market of health conscious-consumers, this method has created a niche of its own. Nowadays, you’ll find restaurants and supermarkets that market specifically for organic produce. These businesses rely on organic farmers to supply them with organically grown fruits and vegetables and organically raised, or free-roaming, livestock.

While the yields are generally less than conventional farms, organic foods command a higher price. You may also need to go through a certification process to be registered as officially organic in order to sell to businesses that promote their foods as such.

Some of the popular organic farms to consider are:

  • Farm-to-Table Restaurant
  • Organic Grocery Wholesaler
  • Organic Dairy Farm
  • Organic Produce Farm
  • Organic Livestock Farm
  • Organic Fish Farm

The global organic farming market is expected to grow to $187.84 billion in 2023, at a CAGR of 11.1%, and to $287.83 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 11.3%. It’s also a more environmentally friendly way to farm and good for the health-conscious farmer as well as consumer.

17. Poultry Farming

Chicken farms, especially organic ones, can achieve profits of 60% or more per batch of chickens. Plus, you can sell eggs and even poultry manure. Some farmers find profit (and fun) in raising rare breeds of chickens to sell the chicks. The downside is that poultry farming is highly regulated to ensure the safety and health of the residents within the community.

Poultry farming

Poultry farming is still one of the most profitable businesses for farmers who are looking to break into the B2B market.

It costs anywhere from $200 to $8,000 to build a chicken house, depending on the complexity and size. When building, think about protection, ease of access for gathering eggs, and whether you need climate control. You’ll need different breeds of chickens for different purposes.

  • Sussex hens
  • Rhode Island Red
  • White Leghorns
  • Plymouth Rock

Meat (broilers)

  • Cornish Cross
  • Jersey Giant
  • Freedom Rangers

Running a farm involves tracking expenses, inventory, sales, and more. A strong accounting software can make this process easier. QuickBooks offers a variety of built-in tools and expansions (including payment processing) to help you stay organized. Check out our QuickBooks Online review .

18. Plant Nursery

If you simply love gardening, then a plant nursery might be a way to indulge that love for a profit. Backyard nurseries can turn as much as a 95% profit . Plants can be grown from seeds and sold for an average of $7. If you grow outdoors or use pots, the startup costs are minimal, although if you need a greenhouse, this can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on size and complexity.

When starting a nursery for profit, research what kind of plants are in demand in your area. Is there a local flower shop that would welcome quality orchids? Is there a demand for poinsettias during the Christmas season? Does the local nursery always sell out of ground cover plants?

19. Hop Farming

The growth of microbreweries has led to an increase in the demand for quality, local hops. Hops can be grown in as little as 1 acre of land. Starting costs can be expensive—about $12,000 per acre—and usually need a year to establish their root system before they produce well. If you have the time, however, you can harvest up to 1,800 pounds of hops, which sell from $3 to $15 per pound.

Hops require at least 120 frost-free days. They grow on bines (the technical term for hop vines) that can reach 25 feet and weigh over 20 pounds, so you need strong, tall trellises. The soil needs to be loose and well-drained.

Starting a small farming business aimed at supplying a large volume of produce to your local market can be costly. You may need a grant or even a business loan to get started. A well-written business plan is a first step for securing funding, plus it helps you ensure you’ve considered all the aspects of building a thriving business.

Agritourism Profitable Small Farm Ideas

Agritourism or farm tourism is a business model that derives the majority of its income from attracting visitors to experience and learn about farm life. Agritourism activities include visiting a working farm and selling fresh, organic, or even homemade produce. Both urban and rural farms benefit from this business structure, but business owners will have to invest more in advertising and marketing strategies.

To succeed in agritourism, you need a professional website. Check out Bluehost for reliable web hosting service to make sure your website is always online. It also offers domain registration and a business email address, all for just $2.95 per month. Sign up to get your online shop hosted today.

20. Flower Farm

Flower farms are a popular destination for tourists, but apart from that, this type of business is versatile. It can create other avenues for income such as supplying flower shops and event organizers. You can start a low-cost flower farm in your backyard for about $2,000 and grow from there. Like other businesses, research is key to growing your flower farm.

“One example of an agricultural business idea is a sunflower maze. A business owner can plant hundreds of sunflowers and charge a small fee for visitors to stroll through the beautiful fields of flowers every summer. They can then sell bouquets of sunflowers and other sunflower decor items at the entrance to the maze. Also, local photographers and brides will pay to reserve the field for special photo shoots. Startup costs are low—just seeds, labor, and the reasonable rental fee for an unused field by the roadside.”

— Marsha Kelly, Marketing Consultant, Best 4 Businesses

21. Forest Gardens

Forest gardens are picturesque and make efficient use of the land to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables together. It requires a canopy of mature trees (nut trees are good, although any native tree works), shorter fruit trees, berry-producing shrubs, perennial vegetables like rhubarb or dill, root vegetables like carrots, ground cover like Canadian ginger, and edible vine plants like cucumbers or beans.

These kinds of gardens are great community projects, although small farms can use them as part of an overall tourist experience—imagine a hike through the woods where you pick the ingredients for your own dinner!

22. Recreational Fish Farming

Fishing is a very popular recreational activity in the US, so if you’re a fish farmer, you can start accepting visitors to fish in your ponds or lakes. Extra-large fish farms can even host different types of sport fishing and draw in more crowds. You can charge visitors by day or per pound of fish that they catch. A good marketing strategy to help you boost sales, especially if you charge per pound of fish, is to create an area for barbecuing or a rustic-style restaurant where visitors can ask to have their freshly caught fish cooked for them.

23. Animal Petting Farm

Most farmers get into the petting farm business to augment their income from selling eggs, dairy, and livestock. Petting farms are not only for student field trips; families like them because they provide a more interactive experience for their children. A traveling petting zoo can be a big sell for birthday parties. Some businesses use them as an opportunity to hold team-building events. Also, be open to giving customers a sample of the products (eggs, dairy) you get from each animal and have a small store where they can buy more food products to bring home.

Customers who pay the entrance fee expect an educational experience, so have them engage with the animals while being supervised by your staff. Safety will be your first priority when you invest in a petting farm. Make sure your staff is well-trained to instruct and supervise. They will also need to know how to administer first aid.

24. Fruit Picking Farms

Fruit picking is a popular weekend activity for families, and small farms have found this to be a lucrative venture. While most entrepreneurial farmers who consider offering fruit picking have had a running farm for some time, hobbyists can also use this to generate income from the tourism aspect of the farm.

One advantage of having a “pick-your-own farm” model is that you’re able to hire fewer people to harvest your products, which reduces overhead costs. Additionally, buyers come to you, so you also reduce the cost of transporting your produce.

Fruit-picking farms interact directly with customers, so there are additional things to consider:

  • Consider planting more than one type of produce if possible. Berry picking is also popular and can attract more customers.
  • Provide ample parking space for visitors.
  • Carefully consider the pesticides you use for your crops because your customers can be exposed if not properly handled.
  • Invest in customer service training for your staff.
  • Don’t ignore opportunities to supply other businesses with your produce.

Your business will largely depend on customer feedback. Be sure to make your farm safe and clean and ensure that your staff is efficient and helpful. Also, have a QR code handy at the exit or end of tours so that it’s easy for customers to leave a review on Yelp.

people harvesting vegetable from farm

Pick-your-own farms are a popular destination for families and large groups looking for quick weekend trips, so make sure you provide the best experience.

25. Wedding Venues

Farms can be idyllic locations, which makes them a big demand for couples that want a beautiful backdrop for their wedding. Even small wedding venues can bring in $10,000 or more per year. Converted barns are popular places for ceremonies and receptions. Of course, the longer you keep them celebrating on your property, the better your profit, so also think about preparation rooms, cocktail hours, after-party arrangements, and even a rustic honeymoon suite.

However, it requires more than just clearing out the barn and throwing open the doors. Here are some minimum requirements:

  • Check local ordinances including noise and parking.
  • Check with the local fire marshal about how many people your barn or venue can hold.
  • Make sure you have a clear (and preferably mud-free) walk from parking to the event area or areas.
  • If the wedding is planned for outdoors, do you have a last-minute foul-weather alternative?
  • Consider whether you’ll rent or purchase tables, chairs, place settings, etc.
  • Get to know local caterers and florists.
  • Do you need an alcohol license? (It may be covered by the caterer.)
  • Check to see if there is any liability insurance you may need.
  • Invest in a website and photographer to take beautiful photos of your land.

If you grow flowers or vegetables, consider offering these for the catering and decor. With some imagination, beautiful centerpieces can be made with local foliage as well.

Wedding venues are profitable but can have a downside. Wedding venues can be time-intensive for the days leading to the big event. You may also be dealing with high emotions from the families during plans. Guests may get drunk and wander from the area.

Learn more: Special Event Insurance: Cost & Coverage

26. Educational Farms

Educational farms take petting farms to the next level. You provide tours, hands-on experiences, or even classes about the animals and crops on your farm. If you have a farm craft, like making herb soap or raveling alpaca fleece, then you can teach these as well. You can offer tours and classes to schools or home schooling groups, 4-H and other clubs, or local universities. You can also sell farm products or educational materials on the side.

Not all your classes need to be in person. With good webinar software, such as those in our best webinar software guide , you can also sell classes online. Or you can create a 10-minute mini-class to post on social media as a lead magnet to your farm.

Like with other agritourism ideas, you’ll need to check your liability insurance and consider having students sign waivers. You’ll also want to develop a program and practice beforehand, including anticipating questions. However, it’s a great way to share your love for the farm life, and in some cases, even get some help.

Make sure your guests have something to remember the experience by. Souvenirs with your farm logo or photos make great mementos and promote your farm to others. Check out this list of the best swag ideas , many of which make great options for souvenirs.

27. Farm Stay Experience

Farm experiences, where a vacationer stays on a farm, actually participating in farm life, have been popular since the 1990s. Farm stays are about having a wholesome experience in a natural environment, which makes small farms well-suited, especially those with organic farming. You can advertise online or through services like Airbnb.

Usually, vacationers stay on the farm (sometimes in a cabin or dedicated campsite) and help out with the chores, like feeding the animals. They may be treated to a tour or a small course on farming; others will simply take part in daily farm lifelike one of the family. Be sure to research the applicable liabilities and ordinances, decide what you want to offer, and, like with all agritourism experiences, consider extras like souvenirs, samples from the farm, or add-ons like actual classes.

Bottom Line

Small farms are often started for the love of the land, a desire to be self-sufficient, and an appreciation for the farming lifestyle. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t turn a tidy profit. If you are seriously considering going into the farming business, our list of farming business ideas can help you get started.

About the Author

Karina Fabian

Karina Fabian

Karina Fabian has more than seven years of experience writing on business topics and reviewing software. Before writing for Fit Small Business, she reviewed business software and services for other online websites. Karina has also worked as a marketing content specialist for Naviga. After her husband started a rocket company, Karina got a crash course on the ins and outs of starting a business and all the work that goes into launching a startup. In her free time, she writes science fiction and fantasy.

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Home » General » How to Start a Tree Farm Business

How to Start a Tree Farm Business

Do you have an empty few acres of land that you’re looking to utilize in some way? Maybe it’s time to become a farmer – a tree farmer, that is. Knowing how to start a tree farm business is pretty simple at first. Get your land ready, find some trees that work in the soil that you have, and then plant them. Take care of them as they grow. The right trees for your area can produce a number of profitable items that go beyond lumber, so the structure of your tree farm is a critical component of your start-up process.

1. If you need immediate profits, start a tree nursery.

Some trees may take up to 50 years to be ready for harvest as a lumber supply. If you’re growing Christmas trees, it may take up to 10 years to have your first season of sales. If you’re looking for a way to start making money right away, then consider structuring your business as a tree nursery. Start growing trees from seeds consistently and in a year or two, you’ll have products to sell to homeowners, landscapers, and other contractors.

2. Know what your tax structure is going to be.

Even though you’re structured as a tree farm, the moment you sell something directly to a customer, you’re also considered a business. This means you’ll need to be licensed for the retail aspect of your business. Many tree farms also have orchards or plant gardens to supplement their income. This may require a secondary health license, specific equipment, and regular inspections. Any wood that is more than 6 years old is classified as timber and you may or may not qualify for a reforestation tax credit.

3. Create a regular cycle of profit.

The initial trap of the tree farm is that many believe they can only plant one or two types of crops. This just isn’t true. You can grow Christmas trees, stands for lumber, have an orchard, grow walnuts, and sell arts and crafts from pine cones. You could add a vineyard to start a winery. You could grow pumpkins for a pumpkin patch experience. The ways you can compliment your tree farm with other products are numerous. Don’t limit yourself to one form of profit. If you do, it might be a decade before you make any money.

4. Install a solid system of irrigation.

Unless you live out in the Pacific Northwest where it seems to rain almost every day, you’re going to need some way to water your trees when the dry season hits. A system of irrigation is mandatory for a large tree farm because otherwise you’ll spend all day watering your trees manually. Wet lands also attract pests that could damage your trees, so having a system of pest control in place will also be necessary so that your crop can grow.

5. Have your farm certified.

Many countries have their own organization that will certify a tree farm and its system of growth and sustainability. In the US, that organization is the American Tree Farm System [ATFS]. The ATFS will help you create a plan that will help you receive the certification that can be helpful for marketing purposes. Your local forest service office may also provide certification assistance and give you advice for which species to grow in your area.

6. Manage your crops.

Trees can be used for everything from power line poles to firewood. Caring for the trees may include trimming, pruning, and tying off the trunk each year to make sure the tree grows straight. Anything more than a few acres in size is going to require some help. You can hire independent contractors for that help if you wish, but you can’t direct them in how to actually do the job that needs to be done. Control is often necessary when it comes to managing trees, so filing for an EIN and hiring employees is usually something that eventually needs to be done.

7. Get into the landscaping business.

If you’ve got enough land to grow trees, then you might have enough land to provide a full landscaping business as well. Dedicate a portion of your land for the harvesting of top soil. Secure contracts with bark, gravel, and stone suppliers to sell at retail. If you have landscaping experience, you could even become a contractor. There are tax and licensing restrictions in place for contractors, however, that may limit what grants are available for the tree farm part of your business.

8. Market yourself.

Your land is the perfect place for people to gather together and enjoy trees. Once your saplings reach a certain size, invite people to stroll through your acreage. You might even consider installing walking paths, small gardens, and other park features. Not only will you create a great space where people can relax, you’ll be exposing them to your products.

Knowing how to start a tree farm business means having land, taking care of your trees, and being creative with your crop so that you have money every year. Trees aren’t just about timber, but they may be for taxation purposes. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to establish an environmentally friendly business that people are going to love.

Related Posts:

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  • 100 Most Profitable Food Business Ideas
  • 100 Best Business Ideas for Teens and Students
  • 50 Most Profitable Recession Proof Businesses

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Sample Farm Business Plan

business plan for christmas tree farm

Writing a business plan is a crucial step in starting a farm. Not only does it provide structure and guidance for the future, but it also helps to create funding opportunities and attract potential investors. For aspiring farm business owners, having access to a sample farm business plan can be especially helpful in providing direction and gaining insight into how to draft their own farm business plan.

Download our Ultimate Farm Business Plan Template

Having a thorough business plan in place is critical for any successful farm venture. It will serve as the foundation for your operations, setting out the goals and objectives that will help guide your decisions and actions. A well-written business plan can give you clarity on realistic financial projections and help you secure financing from lenders or investors. A farm business plan example can be a great resource to draw upon when creating your own plan, making sure that all the key components are included in your document.

The farm business plan sample below will give you an idea of what one should look like. It is not as comprehensive and successful in raising capital for your farm as Growthink’s Ultimate Farm Business Plan Template , but it can help you write a farm business plan of your own.

Example – GreenAcres Harmony

Table of contents, executive summary, company overview, industry analysis, customer analysis, competitive analysis, marketing plan, operations plan, management team, financial plan.

At GreenAcres Harmony, we are embarking on an ambitious journey to revolutionize the way Bostonians experience farm products. Based in the heart of Boston, our mission is to provide the community with fresh, sustainably grown produce that not only nourishes the body but also supports the environment. By harnessing innovative farming techniques and a commitment to sustainability, we aim to establish a strong connection with our customers, offering them a taste of what truly fresh, quality produce can be. Our farm is not just a place of business; it’s a beacon for environmental stewardship and a testament to the power of community engagement in fostering a healthier, greener future.

Our journey to date has been marked by significant accomplishments and a clear set of success factors that underscore our potential for growth. Our dedication to sustainable farming practices has not only set us apart in the industry but has also fostered a deep sense of trust and loyalty among our customers. Our strategic location in Boston provides us with direct access to a vibrant and growing market of health-conscious consumers. Furthermore, our team’s expertise in both agriculture and business management has been instrumental in navigating the complexities of the market and positioning GreenAcres Harmony as a leader in the sustainable agriculture space. These factors, combined with our commitment to quality and sustainability, lay a solid foundation for our future success.

The agricultural industry, particularly the segment focusing on sustainable and locally grown produce, is experiencing a significant surge in demand. This trend is driven by an increasing awareness of environmental issues and a growing commitment among consumers to support practices that are beneficial to the planet. In Boston, this shift is particularly evident, with more individuals seeking out farm-to-table experiences and prioritizing the freshness and sustainability of their food. This evolving market landscape presents an opportune moment for GreenAcres Harmony, as our core values and business model align perfectly with the current consumer trends. Our focus on sustainability, coupled with the high quality of our produce, positions us to capture a substantial share of this growing market.

Our target customers are health-conscious individuals and families residing in Boston who prioritize quality, freshness, and sustainability in their food choices. These consumers are typically well-informed about the benefits of locally grown produce and are willing to invest in products that support their health and environmental values. Additionally, we cater to local businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, looking to enhance their menus with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Understanding the preferences and values of our target customers enables us to tailor our offerings and marketing strategies to meet their specific needs, fostering a loyal customer base committed to supporting local, sustainable agriculture.

Top Competitors: – Local Organic Farms: Offering a similar range of fresh, organic produce. – Big Agriculture: Competing on price and scale but lacking in local and sustainable practices.

Competitive Advantages: Our competitive edge lies in our unwavering commitment to sustainability and the quality of our produce. Unlike big agricultural companies, we focus on local, sustainable farming practices that resonate with our target market. Additionally, our direct engagement with the community through farm-to-table events and partnerships with local businesses sets us apart, creating a unique brand experience that cannot be replicated by our competitors.

Our marketing strategy emphasizes the exceptional quality, sustainability, and community focus of our products and services. By leveraging a robust online presence, including social media and a user-friendly website, we aim to connect with our customers on a deeper level, sharing our story and the benefits of sustainable farming. Our promotional efforts extend beyond the digital realm, with community engagement initiatives, participation in local farmers’ markets, and partnerships with local restaurants and cafes playing a crucial role in building our brand and expanding our reach. These efforts are complemented by public relations campaigns and sponsorships of community events, all designed to enhance our visibility and reputation in the market. Through a combination of online marketing, community engagement, and strategic partnerships, we aim to position GreenAcres Harmony as the go-to source for fresh, locally grown produce in Boston.

Our operations are centered around ensuring the highest quality and sustainability of our farm products. Key operational processes include sustainable farming practices, efficient supply chain management, and effective quality control measures. Milestones to be accomplished involve expanding our product range, increasing our market reach through partnerships, and achieving specific sustainability certifications that further validate our commitment to environmental stewardship. These operational strategies and milestones are designed to optimize our farm’s productivity and impact, ensuring that we not only meet but exceed our customers’ expectations.

Our management team comprises seasoned professionals with extensive experience in agriculture, business management, and sustainability. This diverse skill set ensures a holistic approach to running GreenAcres Harmony, from the day-to-day farm operations to strategic business planning and sustainability initiatives. Our team’s passion for sustainable agriculture and commitment to our community’s well-being are the driving forces behind our farm’s mission, guiding us towards achieving our goal of becoming a leader in sustainable farming in Boston.

Welcome to GreenAcres Harmony, a novel agricultural endeavor situated in the heart of Boston, MA. As a newly established farm, we pride ourselves on being a local source of high-quality produce and farm products. Recognizing the scarcity of premium local farms in our area, we have stepped up to fill this vital gap, aiming to serve the residents of Boston with the freshest and finest agricultural goods.

At GreenAcres Harmony, our offerings are diverse and cater to a wide range of dietary and culinary needs. Our product line includes a variety of fresh produce, ensuring that our customers have access to vegetables and fruits that are not only local but also surpass conventional quality standards. In addition to produce, we provide an assortment of dairy products, eggs, and meat products, all sourced from our farm where ethical and sustainable farming practices are paramount. Our apiary also allows us to supply honey, a natural sweetener and a kitchen staple for many of our customers. Our commitment to quality and freshness sets us apart and ensures that every item we sell is of the highest standard.

Located in the bustling city of Boston, MA, GreenAcres Harmony is strategically positioned to serve the local community efficiently. Our presence in Boston enables us to maintain close relationships with our customers, ensuring that we remain attuned to their needs and preferences. This proximity to our customer base is not just a logistical advantage but also fosters a sense of community and mutual support, which is central to our ethos.

Our confidence in the success of GreenAcres Harmony is grounded in several key factors. Firstly, our founder brings invaluable experience from previously running a successful farm, equipping us with the knowledge and skills necessary for our venture. Moreover, we stand out from our competitors by offering fresher and superior quality produce, dairy, eggs, meat, and honey. This commitment to excellence is what we believe will endear us to our customers and ensure our longevity in the market.

Since our inception on January 4, 2024, as a S Corporation, we have achieved several milestones that underscore our potential for success. Notably, we have developed a distinctive logo and company name that reflect our brand’s ethos and values. Additionally, we have secured an ideal location that not only facilitates our farming operations but also enhances our accessibility to customers. These accomplishments, while early in our journey, are indicative of our strategic approach and our dedication to establishing GreenAcres Harmony as a cornerstone of the Boston community.

The Farm industry in the United States is a significant sector of the economy, with a market size of over $400 billion. This industry includes a wide range of activities such as crop production, livestock farming, and agricultural services. The market size of the Farm industry is expected to continue growing steadily in the coming years, driven by increasing demand for food products, technological advancements in agriculture, and government support for the sector.

One of the key trends in the Farm industry is the growing popularity of organic and sustainable farming practices. Consumers are becoming more conscious of where their food comes from and are increasingly seeking out products that are produced in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner. This trend bodes well for GreenAcres Harmony, as a new Farm serving customers in Boston, MA, that focuses on sustainable farming methods and offers organic produce to its customers.

Another trend in the Farm industry is the increasing focus on local food production and distribution. Consumers are showing a preference for locally grown and sourced products, as they are perceived to be fresher, healthier, and better for the environment. GreenAcres Harmony, being located in Boston, MA, is well-positioned to take advantage of this trend by providing locally grown produce to its customers and establishing strong relationships with local restaurants, markets, and consumers.

Below is a description of our target customers and their core needs.

Target Customers

GreenAcres Harmony will target local residents in Boston, MA, who are increasingly seeking fresh, locally-sourced produce for their daily nutrition needs. This customer segment values sustainability and is willing to pay a premium for food that is grown in an environmentally friendly manner. By offering a range of organic fruits, vegetables, and other farm products, GreenAcres Harmony will cater to this growing demand among health-conscious consumers.

The farm will also attract families looking for fresh, high-quality ingredients to prepare their meals. Parents concerned with the nutritional value of their children’s diet will find GreenAcres Harmony’s offerings particularly appealing. The farm will tailor its product range to include kid-friendly options, making it easier for families to incorporate healthy eating habits into their routines.

In addition to serving individual consumers, GreenAcres Harmony will target local restaurants and small grocery stores seeking to differentiate themselves by offering locally-sourced, organic produce. Establishing partnerships with these businesses will not only expand the farm’s market reach but also strengthen the local food ecosystem in Boston, MA. This strategy will enable GreenAcres Harmony to become a key player in the community’s sustainable food movement.

Customer Needs

GreenAcres Harmony caters to the growing demand for high-quality fresh produce among Boston residents. Customers can expect a range of farm-fresh vegetables and fruits, harvested at the peak of their ripeness, ensuring maximum flavor and nutritional value. This emphasis on quality meets the desires of health-conscious consumers looking for nutritious food options.

In addition to fresh produce, GreenAcres Harmony provides a variety of dairy products, eggs, meat products, and honey, satisfying a broad spectrum of dietary preferences and needs. Customers appreciate the convenience of accessing a wide array of farm-to-table essentials under one roof. This variety ensures that households can enjoy fresh, wholesome meals, contributing to a healthier lifestyle.

Furthermore, GreenAcres Harmony understands the importance of ethical and sustainable farming practices in today’s environmentally aware society. Customers can trust that the products they purchase are produced with respect for the environment and animal welfare. This commitment not only fulfills the need for responsible consumption but also aligns with the values of many Boston residents, making GreenAcres Harmony a preferred choice for discerning shoppers.

GreenAcres Harmony’s competitors include the following companies:

Wilson Farm is known for its wide range of produce, including fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and bakery items. They operate on a large scale and their products are available at competitive price points, making them accessible to a broad customer base. Wilson Farm is located in Lexington, MA, and serves the Greater Boston area, attracting customers looking for high-quality, locally-sourced food products. One of their key strengths is their reputation for quality and freshness, as well as their ability to offer a wide variety of products year-round. However, their size and focus on a broad market can sometimes lead to a less personalized shopping experience for customers seeking niche or artisanal products.

Meadow Mist Farm specializes in grass-fed meats, free-range eggs, and a selection of dairy products, including artisanal cheeses. They are based in Lexington, MA, and cater to customers prioritizing ethically raised and organic products. Their products are priced at a premium, reflecting the quality and sustainable farming practices used. Meadow Mist Farm serves a niche market of health-conscious consumers and those interested in supporting local, sustainable agriculture. Their key strength is their commitment to environmental stewardship and animal welfare, which resonates well with their target customer segment. However, their focus on a specific range of products and higher price points may limit their appeal to a broader audience.

Pakeen Farm, located in Canton, MA, offers a unique blend of products and services, including a pick-your-own operation for fruits like apples and pumpkins, a Christmas tree farm, and a farm stand selling a variety of local produce and goods. They serve customers in the Greater Boston area looking for family-friendly agricultural experiences as well as high-quality, locally-grown produce. Pakeen Farm’s pricing is competitive, especially for activities and experiences, which attracts a diverse customer base. Their strength lies in their ability to provide a multifaceted farm experience that combines retail with agri-tourism. However, their seasonal operations and dependence on weather conditions can be seen as a weakness, as it may affect their revenue and customer flow outside of peak seasons.

Competitive Advantages

At GreenAcres Harmony, we take pride in offering fresher and better quality fresh produce, dairy products, eggs, meat products, and honey compared to our competitors. Our commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly farming practices not only ensures the health and safety of our customers but also contributes to the preservation of our planet. We utilize organic farming techniques that enhance the nutritional value and taste of our products, making them superior in every aspect. Our close proximity to Boston allows us to deliver our products fresh, ensuring that our customers enjoy the full flavor and benefits of our offerings. This direct farm-to-table approach minimizes the time between harvest and consumption, which is a key factor in maintaining the freshness and quality of our products.

In addition to our premium product offerings, our innovative business model incorporates a customer-centric approach that sets us apart. We engage with our customers through community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, farm tours, and educational workshops that foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for sustainable farming practices. By doing so, we not only build a strong, loyal customer base but also create a sense of community around our brand. Our dedication to transparency and ethical farming practices resonates with consumers who are increasingly conscious of the environmental and social impact of their purchasing decisions. Furthermore, our use of technology and data analytics allows us to optimize our operations and tailor our offerings to meet the specific needs and preferences of our customers, providing us with a significant competitive advantage in the Boston market.

Our marketing plan, included below, details our products/services, pricing and promotions plan.

Products and Services

At the heart of GreenAcres Harmony’s offerings is a wide range of fresh produce, encompassing everything from leafy greens to succulent fruits and crisp vegetables. This diverse selection caters to the needs of health-conscious consumers seeking nutrient-rich options. Prices for their fresh produce generally range from $2 to $4 per pound, reflecting both the quality and freshness that the farm prides itself on.

In addition to fresh produce, GreenAcres Harmony provides a variety of dairy products. Their range includes fresh milk, cheese, and yogurt, all produced from cows and goats raised in a natural and healthy environment. The prices for their dairy products are competitive, with milk selling for around $4 per half gallon, cheese priced at $6-$10 per pound depending on the variety, and yogurt at $5 per quart. These products are not only a testament to the farm’s commitment to quality but also to their dedication to sustainable farming practices.

Eggs are another staple at GreenAcres Harmony, offering consumers the choice of purchasing eggs sourced from chickens that roam freely in pastures. This free-range approach ensures that the eggs are not only fresher but also richer in nutrients compared to those from caged birds. The average price for a dozen eggs is set at $5, which is a reflection of their quality and the ethical farming practices employed by GreenAcres Harmony.

For those interested in meat products, GreenAcres Harmony offers a selection of beef, pork, and poultry. All their livestock are raised in a stress-free environment, allowing them to grow at a natural pace without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. This results in meat that is not only healthier but also more flavorful. The prices for their meat products vary, with beef priced at around $10 per pound, pork at $8 per pound, and poultry at $6 per pound. These prices are indicative of the farm’s commitment to providing high-quality, sustainable, and ethically raised meat to the community.

Finally, GreenAcres Harmony produces honey, a sweet addition to their product lineup. Their honey comes from bees that pollinate the very crops and flowers on the farm, ensuring a product that is pure and of high quality. A 12-ounce jar of honey is priced at approximately $8, offering a natural sweetener option that supports local agriculture and promotes the health of the local ecosystem.

Overall, GreenAcres Harmony’s range of products and services is designed to meet the growing demand for locally sourced, sustainable, and ethical food choices. Their pricing strategy reflects their commitment to quality, sustainability, and the support of local agriculture, making them a valued addition to the Boston community.

Promotions Plan

GreenAcres Harmony embarks on an ambitious journey to captivate the hearts and palates of Bostonians with its array of fresh, sustainably grown farm products. Recognizing the vast potential and the competitive nature of the market, the farm employs a multifaceted promotional strategy designed to create a strong brand presence, foster community engagement, and drive sales. At the core of these efforts lies a robust online marketing strategy, complemented by a variety of other innovative promotional tactics.

Online marketing emerges as a pivotal component of GreenAcres Harmony’s promotional arsenal. The farm will leverage the power of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with potential customers, share the farm’s story, and showcase its products through visually appealing content and engaging stories. Email marketing campaigns will serve as a direct channel to communicate with subscribers, offering them exclusive insights, promotions, and updates on the farm’s offerings. Furthermore, a user-friendly website will act as the digital storefront for GreenAcres Harmony, featuring an online shop where customers can conveniently purchase products, learn about sustainable farming practices, and stay informed about upcoming events and workshops.

Yet, online marketing is just the beginning. GreenAcres Harmony will also invest in community engagement initiatives to build meaningful relationships with local residents and businesses. Hosting farm-to-table events, workshops, and tours on-site will invite the community to experience the farm’s operations firsthand, fostering a deeper connection with the brand. Partnerships with local restaurants and cafes to supply fresh produce will not only expand the farm’s reach but also underscore its commitment to supporting local economies and sustainability.

To further amplify its visibility, GreenAcres Harmony will participate in local farmers’ markets and food festivals. These events offer invaluable opportunities to engage directly with customers, receive immediate feedback, and increase brand recognition through face-to-face interactions. Offering product samples and showcasing the quality and freshness of its produce will help GreenAcres Harmony stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Additionally, public relations efforts will play a crucial role in boosting the farm’s profile. Crafting press releases and working with local media outlets to feature stories about GreenAcres Harmony’s initiatives, achievements, and contributions to the community will enhance its reputation and credibility among consumers. Sponsoring local community events and initiatives will further demonstrate the farm’s commitment to giving back and supporting the well-being of its community.

In conclusion, GreenAcres Harmony’s promotional strategy is a comprehensive blend of online marketing, community engagement, participation in local events, and public relations efforts. By effectively implementing these tactics, GreenAcres Harmony expects to attract a loyal customer base, increase its market share, and contribute positively to the sustainability and health of the Boston community.

Our Operations Plan details:

  • The key day-to-day processes that our business performs to serve our customers
  • The key business milestones that our company expects to accomplish as we grow

Key Operational Processes

To ensure the success of GreenAcres Harmony, there are several key day-to-day operational processes that we will perform.

  • Monitoring and Adjusting Crop Health: We continuously monitor the health of our crops, using both traditional methods and modern technology. This includes checking for pests, diseases, and ensuring optimal soil conditions. Any issues are addressed immediately to prevent crop loss.
  • Harvesting and Post-Harvest Handling: Daily assessments determine which crops are ready for harvest. We then follow strict post-harvest handling protocols to ensure the produce remains fresh and high-quality until it reaches the customer.
  • Order Fulfillment and Delivery: We process customer orders promptly, organizing and packing produce for delivery. Our delivery system is optimized for efficiency, ensuring customers in Boston, MA, receive their orders in a timely manner.
  • Customer Service and Feedback: We maintain open lines of communication with our customers for inquiries and feedback. This helps us improve our services and resolve any issues swiftly.
  • Inventory Management: We manage our inventory closely, tracking produce availability and supply levels to meet customer demand without overproducing. This process includes forecasting demand based on historical data and current trends.
  • Quality Control: Every batch of produce undergoes quality control checks to ensure it meets our high standards. This includes visual inspections and, if necessary, taste tests.
  • Financial Management: Daily financial transactions are recorded and analyzed. This includes tracking income from sales and managing expenses such as labor, seeds, and equipment maintenance.
  • Equipment and Infrastructure Maintenance: Regular maintenance checks and repairs of our farming equipment and infrastructure ensure that operations run smoothly and efficiently without unexpected disruptions.
  • Marketing and Promotions: We engage in daily marketing activities to promote our farm and its products. This includes social media updates, email newsletters, and participation in local food markets.
  • Compliance and Sustainability Practices: We ensure all farming practices comply with local regulations and strive for sustainability. This involves water conservation, using organic farming methods, and reducing waste.

GreenAcres Harmony expects to complete the following milestones in the coming months in order to ensure its success:

  • Secure the Farm Location: Finalize the acquisition or lease of agricultural land within a reasonable distance from Boston, MA, ensuring that the land is fertile and suitable for the types of crops and livestock GreenAcres Harmony intends to produce.
  • Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses: Navigate through local, state, and federal regulations to acquire all necessary permits and licenses required for farming operations, including but not limited to environmental, health, and business operating permits.
  • Build and Prepare Farm Infrastructure: Develop the necessary farm infrastructure, including irrigation systems, greenhouses, livestock enclosures, and storage facilities, ensuring that all structures are built to meet or exceed industry standards for sustainability and efficiency.
  • Launch Our Farm: Officially start farming operations by planting the first crops and/or acquiring the first batch of livestock. This launch includes initiating marketing efforts to build brand awareness within the target market of Boston, MA.
  • Establish Distribution Channels: Forge relationships with local markets, restaurants, and food distributors in the Boston area, as well as setting up an online sales platform, to ensure that GreenAcres Harmony has multiple avenues for selling its products directly to consumers and through B2B sales.
  • Implement Sustainable Practices: Fully integrate sustainable and eco-friendly farming practices into daily operations, such as composting, organic farming, water conservation techniques, and renewable energy use, to not only mitigate environmental impact but also to appeal to eco-conscious consumers.
  • Reach $15,000/Month in Revenue: Achieve the financial milestone of generating at least $15,000 in monthly sales from the sale of produce and livestock. This goal is critical for demonstrating the farm’s viability and supporting further growth and investment.
  • Develop a Loyal Customer Base: Through quality products, excellent customer service, and community engagement, build a loyal customer base that not only regularly purchases GreenAcres Harmony products but also advocates for the brand within their networks.
  • Evaluate and Expand Product Lines: Based on customer feedback and market demand, periodically evaluate the farm’s product offerings and consider expanding into new crops, livestock, or value-added products such as jams, cheeses, or meats to diversify income sources and meet market needs. Completing these milestones will position GreenAcres Harmony for long-term success by ensuring operational efficiency, regulatory compliance, market presence, and financial stability.

GreenAcres Harmony management team, which includes the following members, has the experience and expertise to successfully execute on our business plan:

Chloe King, President

Chloe King, President, brings a wealth of experience to GreenAcres Harmony, backed by a proven track record of success in the agricultural sector. Having successfully managed a farm previously, Chloe possesses a deep understanding of the operational, financial, and strategic facets of running a sustainable agricultural business. Her leadership skills, combined with her hands-on experience in farm management, position her perfectly to steer GreenAcres Harmony toward achieving its mission of sustainable farming and community engagement. Chloe’s ability to navigate the challenges of agricultural business, from crop production to market strategies, makes her an invaluable asset to the team and a key player in ensuring the long-term success of GreenAcres Harmony.

To reach our growth goals, GreenAcres Harmony requires significant financial investment. This funding will be allocated towards expanding our farming operations, enhancing our marketing efforts, and further developing our sustainability initiatives. Our financial plan outlines the need for capital investment to support these areas, ensuring that we can continue to provide our customers with high-quality, sustainable produce while also expanding our reach and impact within the community.

Financial Statements

Balance sheet.

[insert balance sheet]

Income Statement

[insert income statement]

Cash Flow Statement

[insert cash flow statement]

Farm Business Plan Example PDF

Download our Farm Business Plan PDF here. This is a free farm business plan example to help you get started on your own farm plan.  

How to Finish Your Farm Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your farm business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

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How to Start a Small Farm Business

  • Swarthmore College

Treehugger / Lexie Doehner

  • Urban Farms
  • Planting Guides
  • Indoor Gardening

If you want to start a small farm business, you may be wondering what step to take first. You might not even have land yet, but you are still thinking and planning for the time when you will make your move. And finding farmland is one important step in farming - one that you'll want to take after considering some other factors.

Learn About Farming

You can't go wrong starting with this step. If you're new to farming, learn everything you can about it within the time you have. But be reasonable, too. You can't know everything there is to know. Some learning will have to be on the job, and trial and error is messy, time-consuming and sometimes costly. Yet it's inevitable with farming, so embrace the process. But learn some, too. Balance.

If you can find a mentor - someone you can learn from directly, perhaps in your community now or where you hope to farm - it can be extremely helpful. If you haven't already, work on a farm. Volunteer. Gain experience before you begin.

Design and Plan Your Farm

An important part of starting your farm business is defining what it will be. Do you want to have a micro-scale vegetable farm? Do you plan to grow acres of hay for other farmers? Maybe you want to have a diversified farm - a small-scale operation that grows a variety of animals and crops. You might even be wondering how to start an ecotourism farm, where people will come to stay to see the workings of your farm and perhaps even participate in farm chores.

Write a Business Plan

You may wonder if you need a business plan . The short answer: if you want to start a business, you will need a business plan.   In the writing of the business plan, you will consider markets, supply and demand, as well as anything and everything that pertains to your farm operations, management structure, financial analysis, products, and price points. You may cycle between this step and the previous one, designing and planning because they are interconnected. But a business plan is a significant enough part of starting a business to take up an entire step. It's where you take your dreams and brainstorms and make them a reality.

Find Grants and Loans

You might not have all the capital you need to start farming on the scale that you'd like. You can start small, dip a toe in the water and see how you enjoy farming on a micro scale, using whatever you can glean from your monthly household budget to invest in the farm. But it might take a long time to get anywhere using this method, as you may not be able to invest a significant amount, enough to bring product to market. Grants and loans aimed at young and beginning farmers are out there! Help is available for established farmers, too. Programs offer subsidized equipment like high tunnels, assistance in certifying organic, and more. ​

Get Business Licenses and Permits

Your local and state law may vary when it comes to the requirements for establishing a small farm business.   But the basics are the same: you will probably need to register your business name, purchase a business license, get an employer identification number, and carry product liability insurance.

Set Up Finances

You will also need to decide on your business structure. Will this be a sole proprietorship, an LLC or something else? Contact an accountant to get information specific to your situation. Financial planning should be in your business plan. It's very important to set up a system for bookkeeping and accounting from the start of your small farm business.

“ First Steps .” U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“ Growing Opportunity: A Guide to USDA Sustainable Farming Programs .” U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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  • Should You Raise Turkeys?
  • 10 Tips for Starting a Plant-Based Diet
  • The 7 Best Wooden Swing Sets
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  • Tips for Starting Your Hobby Farm

business plan for christmas tree farm

MSU Extension

Basic steps in establishing a farm business.

Kay Cummings, and Curtis Talley Jr., Michigan State Unviersity Extension - June 02, 2015

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Start out right by laying the proper groundwork.

Anyone who owns acreage and pays taxes wants to get as much value from the land as possible. If you’re feeling confident that you could start and run an agricultural business, you could consider starting a farm enterprise—selling some type of commodity to make a profit such as livestock, crops, or even starting an agri-tourism venture, for example. First and foremost, you should check with your local zoning official to make sure your idea will be an allowed use in your township or city.

Next, you need to register your business name by contacting your County Clerk’s office. This is very important, as it is required on all government forms and applications. It is not necessary if you are using your own legal name as the business name. A more formal business entity is the Limited Liability Company (LLC). Filing an LLC with the State of Michigan will protect your name statewide, but it is recommended that you seek legal assistance if you go this route.

You also need to check for any regulations on the growing and/or sales of your chosen goods through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development . If you are going to sell retail, you need a sales tax license from Michigan Department of Treasury . Farms that produce and sell commodities to other farms or agri-businesses are exempt from sales tax and do not require a license.

Here are some recommendations for a successful farm business:

  • Have a written business plan to help you map out what you are going to produce, along with how and when you will generate a profit.
  • Make sure to keep farm records separate from your personal records. Establish a farm checkbook where sales income is deposited and checks are written for expenses. You will be able to create a profit and loss statement quarterly anr/or annually with this information.
  • Treat your farming activities as a trade or business so you can complete a 1040 Schedule F form when filing your income taxes (normally due March 1, unless you pay estimated quarterly payments). Be prepared to pay separate social security, Medicare and income taxes on farm profits.
  • If you meet the standards of being a farm in the production and sales of a commodity for profit, then you can qualify to make production input purchases exempt from Michigan sales tax. You can complete a Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption (form 3372) from the Michigan Department of Treasury and show it to vendors when making pruchases for your farm.
  • According to the Internal Revenue Service, if you gross $1,000 or more in agriculture sales per year, you are considered a farm. In order to continue to be a qualified farm for tax purposes, 2/3 of your taxable income must come from the farm in the prior two years and your farming activities must show a profit in three of seven years.

Either a Michigan State University Extension Farm Management educator or an Innovation Counselor with the MSU Product Center can help you with a business plan and other steps mentioned here. The MSU Product Center , in partnership with Michigan State University Extension , provides business counseling to help Michigan entrepreneurs commercialize food, value-added agriculture, and natural resource products. For more information, visit the MSU Product Center website or call 517-432-8750.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension . For more information, visit . To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit . To contact an expert in your area, visit , or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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Tech Trends

October 2, 2018

Think Tank: Defining the Business Case for Drones

By Chris Chiappinelli

The business case for drones

The Esri Brief

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Drones have flown into public discourse powered by quad motors and hobbyist appeal. They hover over landmarks, snapping pictures for photography enthusiasts. They form airborne networks to create modern-day fireworks displays.

But what are drones doing for business? How will that evolve in the next several years? And, how have drones improved with the help of big data, IoT, and artificial intelligence?

WhereNext assembled several thought leaders to explore these questions. In this latest installment of the Think Tank series, Esri Professional Services VP Brian Cross leads a discussion with Don Carson, an expert on location intelligence for the utilities industry, and Mansour Raad , a specialist in big data, artificial intelligence, and location intelligence across industries.

Defining Business Value

Brian Cross: I want to cut through the fluff about drones in business, and find out what you’re seeing in reality and on the cutting edge. Don, in your experience, where are executives seeing real business value in unmanned aircraft and remote-sensing capabilities?

Don Carson: There are really two key areas of business value today. One is gaining efficiencies and reducing operating costs, and the second is employee safety. Drones can take video or photographs to assess conditions and help companies pinpoint where services or equipment might be at risk.

A recent report [by Skyward, a Verizon subsidiary and maker of drone software] showed that while only 1 in 10 companies use drones today, 88 percent of those that do have achieved a positive return on investment within a year.

The companies we work with are taking advantage of drones to get into the field faster, cheaper, and with greater safety.

Mansour Raad: Another way to look at it is that drones extend the human senses. Today, companies are using drones to help employees see situations from new vantage points. Tomorrow, drones will extend our other senses, including hearing for noise detection around airports, perhaps; and smell for detecting gas leaks, for example.

The Drone Playbook

Cross: What are some of the workflows and business problems drones are addressing now?

Carson: One example is inspections for utilities—of poles, wireless towers, wind turbines, and other infrastructure. Traditionally, those have required a great deal of time to perform, and come with a high risk to employee safety. In fact, tower climbing is recognized as among the most dangerous jobs . And a single tower climb can cost between $2,000 and $5,000. Drones make that work faster, cheaper, and safer.

Cross: But there’s more to using a drone for business purposes than a hobbyist might realize.

Carson: That’s true. Companies that see the best return on this technology have what we call a high location IQ. They understand that you don’t just launch a drone and hope to find something that benefits your operations. They identify a business challenge, define the flight paths that will help them assess the challenge, and then use location intelligence to analyze the data and identify actions they should take.

Don Carson of Esri

Since drones can fly quite low and deliver high-resolution output, some agricultural companies are using them to detect crop health—down to individual plants and individual leaves.

Extending the Human CPU

Cross: Mansour, how are companies making sense of the big data collected by drones, and how are they doing that more efficiently than the human CPU can?

Raad: Actually, the technology for processing and analysis is starting to become fairly attainable to everybody, and a lot of organizations already have the infrastructure to support it in the form of data lakes and streaming data processing.

At this point, most companies that use drones are in batch mode. They fly the drones, take pictures or video, then download the data into their data lakes on premises or in the cloud. Some advanced companies are streaming drone footage in real time. More companies will be doing that before long. [See the sidebar, “IoT, Edge Processing Transform Drones.”]

To break through the limits of the human CPU, as you call it, smart companies are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to process drone footage. At the beginning, a human employee labels some of the images—identifying a broken insulator or a leaky valve, for instance. The AI program learns from that and takes over the analysis.

To visualize that analysis, most companies use a geographic information system [GIS] , which delivers location intelligence in the form of beautiful, expressive maps. They use the maps to pinpoint where field crews need to take action, such as replacing a faulty insulator or repairing a leak.

Precision from the Air

Cross: We talked about the telecom and utility scenarios. Where else do you see companies putting drones to work?

Carson: Agriculture is an interesting use case. Since drones can fly quite low and deliver high-resolution, multispectral output, some agricultural companies and farms are using them to detect crop health—down to individual plants and individual leaves.

An agricultural expert looks at the raw footage, identifies a set of affected leaves, and then artificial intelligence does the rest of the analysis by learning what indicates poor crop health. The analysis is mapped by a GIS which identifies the location and condition of specific plants. In the end, the farmer learns precisely where crops are doing well and where they’re doing poorly, and can adjust treatment with precision. That’s having a big impact on crop yield and the bottom line. When you consider that just one crop disease in one state cost the industry $104 million in a year , you get a sense for why detection is so important.

Raad: And agriculture is an area where drones might provide more than visual inspection. When most people think about imagery, they think about what they see when they look at their house in Google Maps. But remote sensing has long been able to take advantage of other data to do things like sense crop moisture. Drones are adding that type of analysis to their capabilities.

Eyes on Business Expansion

Cross: Don, what are you seeing in terms of drones helping companies manage the growth of their business and infrastructure?

Carson: As companies expand, they’re constructing new facilities, and they’re using drone technology to support expansion. During construction activities, drones can:

  • provide status reports on progress
  • perform volumetric calculations to show when building materials are running low and need to be restocked
  • and reveal potential risk areas on a construction site

There’s a high degree of human involvement in site inspections, so drone-based surveys typically save money and time.

Another use for drones isn’t in the sky at all. Some organizations are using ground-based and indoor drones to map their facilities. Drones take pictures or lidar images throughout the facilities, and then GIS technology creates maps and floor plans that give employees a common view of the workplace or industrial environment. By combining those maps with data from IoT devices like smartphones or sensors, companies can do advanced routing and analytics on the indoor environment, including patterns of movement, assets, and infrastructure. It’s a whole new frontier for companies in many industries.

Mansour Raad of Esri

Today, drones are primarily extending our vision. It will be very interesting to watch as they evolve to encompass our other sensors, such as noise, aura, and smell.

Assessing Asset Health

Cross: Mansour, are you seeing other uses for drones overseas?

Raad: We are. In one case in South America, a natural resources company is analyzing drone imagery to extract hidden features such as roads. They use artificial intelligence to infer where the roads are, and that helps them create an accurate map of their network and route supplies more efficiently.

In northern Europe, a timber company is using drones and AI to manage resources. They want to see which trees are growing where, and how healthy they are. So they’re using drones and GIS to identify where particular trees are, what kind they are, and—more importantly, based on a combination of photography and lidar data—understand their growth over time.

Drones for Competitive Intelligence

Cross: Historically, some large companies and hedge funds have used satellite imagery to gather intelligence on competitors—noting the status of a new facility, or how much oil a company has in its reserves. Are drones making it easier to gain competitive intelligence?

Carson: Yes, certain companies are “spying” on competitors by flying drones above their facilities. The simplistic example is a retailer that flies a drone above a rival store and uses the number of cars in the parking lot to estimate sales. That costs a lot of money to do with satellites, but with drones it’s more manageable.

Another case we’ve seen is wineries. Drones can fly over competing wineries to examine growing conditions, slope, and planting patterns. That kind of location intelligence can be valuable to business executives.

More than Eyes in the Sky

Cross: Where do we go next with drones? Are there any scenarios where the drone won’t simply be eyes in the sky, but will perform a business task?

Carson: Telecom companies are exploring drones as a way to cover gaps in wireless cell coverage. Think of the drone as an airborne cell tower and antenna all in one. This could be especially useful during hurricanes and other natural disasters—providing temporary wireless communications to first responders, for instance.

Raad: Facebook and Google are already experimenting with similar techniques to provide Wi-Fi in developing countries. Facebook has developed solar drones that stay aloft and provide service—although they may outsource that work. Google’s Project Loon —which is now its own company under the Alphabet umbrella—uses balloons to provide wireless connectivity.

Amazon hasn’t been shy about wanting to deliver packages by drone, and some logistics providers are planning their own fleets of drones for last-mile deliveries.

Perfecting all these applications will require a high location IQ, because you can’t get the right products to the right people without reliable location intelligence.

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business plan for christmas tree farm

Chris Chiappinelli

Chris Chiappinelli is the editor of Esri’s WhereNext magazine. Through his writing, he explores the intersection of business strategy and location intelligence—and strategic challenges like sustainability, growth, and risk. Prior to joining Esri, Chris managed internal content for PTC, a pioneer in IoT technology, smart products, and augmented reality. Earlier in his career, Chris spent a decade as a journalist covering business and technology news.

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There are wide varieties of poplar trees, and they grow rapidly, making them popular among homeowners. These are fast-growing, solid, easy-to-grow trees that produce drooping clusters of flowers known as catkins. Before the leaves emerge, the flowers bloom in drooping catkins, which makes wind pollination easier. There are many minute seeds in each fruit covered in silky tufts of cottony hairs, enclosed in small thick-walled capsules. Often, many seeds are released, and the fluffy seed hairs assist in dispersal by the wind.

How to grow Poplar tree

Different poplar tree varieties.

A poplar tree’s foliage is a good indicator of its variety. It is often heart-shaped, and if you observe closely, it has small teeth around the edges. Leaf color changes from green to golden or yellow in the fall, based on the variety. These trees produce male and female flowers meaning they are self-pollinating. As a result, the plant produces yellow flowers and small fruits. Selecting a suitable variety for your garden and caring for it properly can extend its lifespan. The number of recognized species is over 35, but few of them are commonly grown in domestic environments. These are the most common types of plants

The white Poplar is also known as the silver Poplar. It grows to 60 to 100 feet in height and is the closest relative of the aspen species. Although it is a short-lived tree, it provides excellent shade and has large, dark leaves. The leaves of this tree have fuzzy white undersides, giving it a silver or white appearance.

Trees such as Populus heterophylla poplar can thrive in wet conditions that other trees cannot. Typically, the leaves are oval-shaped and light or dark green with a different color underside. It can grow to a height of 50 to 100 feet at maturity and acquire a lumpy, dark-colored bark with age. A black poplar tree has triangular leaves that turn a distinctive golden-yellow color in the fall. This tree thrives in wet and swampy areas, known as the swamp cottonwood. In this cultivar, the branches are tall and narrow, giving it a columnar shape.

Balsam poplar is a more common poplar species found in the Northern U.S. It is most commonly recognized for its shiny, oval leaves with resin-dotted undersides. Their narrow, pointed leaves emit a distinct smell reminiscent of balsam fir trees, hence the name balsam poplar. Once fully mature, this type of poplar tree reaches a height of 75 to 100 feet. The wood of balsam Poplar is often used to make pulp wood, particleboard, and boxes.

Western balsam poplars, also known as black cottonwoods and California poplars, can grow up to 150 feet tall. The leaves are heart-shaped or oval, and the buds release a balsam scent in spring. The bark of the California poplar is so hard and gnarled that cutting it with a chainsaw can cause sparks. As it has an extensive root network, it can grow on steep slopes, causing damage to buildings and land. Despite its preference for wet soil and sunlight, it can survive in various climates.

A trembling poplar is also named a quaking aspen tree or mountain aspen because of its long branches called petioles that quake in the wind. Tall trunks with smooth white bark characterize trembling poplars.

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Poplar Tree Rows

Known as Cottonwood Poplar, it reaches around 80 feet in height and 60 feet in spread, making it another large tree. Despite drought tolerance, its dark green leaves will turn yellow in the fall. Ash-gray bark appears on mature plants. These trees need nutritionally dense and wet soil at all times, so they are very sensitive to soil changes. Due to its vulnerability to wind, it is best planted in areas with little wind or other trees that can provide support. Even though this Poplar is vulnerable to wind, it is relatively resistant to frost and cold winters.

One of the most popular cultivars is Lombardy. Lombardy grows about 6 feet a year, making it a good choice for windbreaks or privacy screens. Lombardy has an unusual branching structure that contributes to the iconic column shape of the poplar tree. Branch growth begins near the ground and moves upward parallel to the trunk. This cultivar isn’t grown for its autumn foliage, unlike other cultivars, despite its yellow foliage in the fall. Lombardy’s trunk also blackens with age, another distinctive characteristic.

  • Choose a healthy branch that does not show any signs of disease, damage, or insect infestation. Find a branch that has grown roughly the width of a pencil from the current year. The branch should have at least four buds, or growth nodes, on its end, which should be cut with pruning shears.
  • Fill five-gallon bucket three-quarters full of water. Put the cutting in water after removing leaves from the lower third to half of it. Three days of soaking are recommended for the cutting.
  • The best place to plant your garden is one that receives six to eight hours of sunlight each day and has well-draining soil. Break up the soil using a tiller up to 10 to 12 inches deep at the planting site. Tilling it over ensures the soil is loose and free of large chunks.
  • The cutting should be removed from the bucket of water. Apply rooting hormone to the cutting’s bottom end.
  • Make a 3 to 6-inch deep and 3-inch wide hole using a trowel in the prepared spot. The bottom one-third of the cutting should be inserted into the hole. Hand-pack the soil firmly around the cutting after backfilling the hole.
  • The cutting should be watered until puddles form around its base with a garden hose. The water should be allowed to drain, and the soil should be repacked if needed. Apply more water to ensure the soil around the cutting is thoroughly moistened.
  • Mulch the base of the cutting with a ring of 1 to 2 inches thick. Mulch should not touch the cutting to prevent mold growth.
  • The ground around the cutting should be thoroughly and deeply moistened while it develops roots. The ground should be moist but not soggy during the first season of the cutting. Once the poplar tree has reached its second growing season, it should only be watered when there is little rainfall or drought.
  • Fertilize the Poplar cutting each spring with a slow-release fertilizer containing 10-10-10 nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Mix 1 tablespoon fertilizer into the 6 inches of topsoil per square foot of ground. You can activate fertilizer release by watering the area to 6 inches deep.

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Poplar Trees

Poplar tree care

Trees such as Poplar will tolerate various soil types as long as the soil drains well and does not pool stagnant water. All types of soil are acceptable for Poplar, including light clay, sand, loam, and humus. Adding coarse sand, small aggregate, peat, and perlite to heavy clay soils or soils with poor drainage will improve drainage and oxygenation.

In ideal soil pH ranges between 6.0 and 8.0, Poplar thrives in slightly acidic and alkaline soils. Sulfur or any other acidifier should be added to the soil above 8.0 or very alkaline. Lime or other base amendments will improve the pH of very acidic soils. In addition, topdressings of amendments can keep the pH in the proper zone if needed.

Full sun is best for the poplar tree, but partial shade will also work. These plants require direct sunlight for a minimum of six hours a day. In an area with less sun, the poplar tree may grow slower, resulting in fewer issues, with branches growing overly fast and suffering from wind and storm damage. Additionally, it will result in less pruning and less maintenance, repair, and damage costs if an unfortunate incident occurs.

Lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, and rivers are common places where Poplar trees grow. Although they are thirsty trees, extra watering will go a long way, especially when they are young, even in somewhat dry areas. During the first few years of life, water liberally. In the dry summer months, it’s essential to water your poplar trees every week unless you planted them in wetlands near rivers or lakes. Poplar trees can be protected from canker diseases by regular watering.

It is not recommended to provide it with supplemental fertilizer unless severe soil deficiencies are causing it harm. Before fertilizer is applied, a simple soil test should be conducted to determine if the soil is the problem. Most likely, the issues with the tree are caused by a pathogen or insect, not a lack of nutrients.

Place a couple of inches of mulch between your poplar trees after planting them. Compost helps fertilize new poplars, and shredded leaves or grass can also be used as mulch. By doing so, weeds are prevented from growing, and moisture is retained in the soil. The mulch should not be thicker than 4 inches for poplar trees to grow properly.

Pruning will be the most important in all the care that can and will be given to a poplar tree. Regular pruning will need to be done to reduce wind exposure starting a full year after planting the tree. A good structure must be established early in life through pruning.

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Poplar Tree Farming

As the tree grows, it must eliminate any harsh crotches and intersections and establish a singular leader or trunk to ensure its strength. Branches should be cut to form a pattern away from the tree’s leader, as the tree will naturally have an oval crown. Ensure that dead, dying, or damaged branches are checked every year. It will only take a few years for the work to move from the ground to a ladder due to the fast growth of these trees. Now is the time to call in the pros, which means searching for a certified arborist who can handle the work safely.

Common pests and diseases in a Poplar tree

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Poplar Trees

In a container, poplar trees are not suitable for long-term growth. It is certainly possible, but the cold winter weather will damage the roots, and the sheer size of the tree will eventually make the pot an unstable medium for growing it. Growing this tree in a container is not recommended; instead, choose a spot in the ground where it will thrive.

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Growing Poplar Trees

Various varieties of Poplar grow to different heights, but they are all fast-growing. You can expect 3 to 5 feet of new growth each year. Several Poplar trees have lived over 200 years, which is unusual for fast-growing trees. Poplars generally range from 50 to 160 feet, most between 50 and 80 feet tall. Some cultivars, such as the Tulip Poplar, grow up to 70 feet tall.

A poplar tree adds structure and definition to a garden elegantly and attractively. As well as providing shelter or privacy, poplar trees are pleasingly easy to maintain once planted. If you follow the advice in this guide, you will help to enjoy the cool shade of the poplar trees for years to come.

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  1. How to Start A Christmas Tree Farm Business in 11 Easy Steps

    business plan for christmas tree farm

  2. 2023 Guide: Launching a Profitable Christmas Tree Farm

    business plan for christmas tree farm

  3. Christmas Tree Farm Business Plan Sample [2021]

    business plan for christmas tree farm

  4. Christmas Tree Farm Business Plan Sample [2023]

    business plan for christmas tree farm

  5. Christmas Tree Farm Business Plan Sample [2024]

    business plan for christmas tree farm

  6. Christmas Tree Farm Business Plan Sample [2023]

    business plan for christmas tree farm


  1. How to write a business plan for a Christmas tree farm?

    A business plan has 2 complementary parts: a financial forecast showcasing the expected growth, profits and cash flows of the business; and a written part which provides the context needed to judge if the forecast is realistic and relevant. Having an up-to-date business plan is the only way to keep visibility on your Christmas tree farm's ...

  2. How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm

    Industry trend Growing Commitment Flexible Christmas is a time to spread joy! Wouldn't you like to spread joy by providing Christmas trees that delight young and old? With a Christmas tree farm, you could do just that, and make a nice profit at the same time.

  3. Christmas Tree Farm Business Plan Sample

    2.1 The Business The Christmas tree farm will be registered as Cole Christmas Tree Farm and will be based in Spring Texas. Starting a Christmas tree farm business requires careful planning an expert management team to oversee and coordinate business activities.

  4. How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm

    Start a christmas tree farm by following these 10 steps: Plan your Christmas Tree Farm Form your Christmas Tree Farm into a Legal Entity Register your Christmas Tree Farm for Taxes Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card Set up Accounting for your Christmas Tree Farm Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Christmas Tree Farm

  5. How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm for Profit

    Christmas trees—unlike most crops—take much longer than a single season to reach maturity. "Christmas trees can take eight to 10 years from planting until harvest," says Tom Harbinson, facilities & hospitality manager of the Jones Family Farms and Winery in Shelton, Conn. "That is a long-term commitment to the crop that a farmer ...

  6. So You Want To Start Christmas Tree Farming: Here's What To Know

    First — and this is obvious — you'll need land, and least 10 to 20 acres. The more you have, the more likely you are to have a profitable operation. "If you have enough land, enough volume and enough sales, you can hire other people to do the work," Ward says. "If you're small, you're going to have to do all the work yourself.

  7. Christmas Tree Farming Business Plan [Sample Template]

    Christmas tree farming business is a line of business that is categorized under the Plant & Flower Growing industry and basically, players in this industry grow nursery plants, such as trees and shrubs; flowering plants, such as foliage plants, cut flowers, flower seeds and ornamentals; and short rotation woody trees, such as Christmas trees and...

  8. Tree Farming Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

    Written by Dave Lavinsky Tree Farming Business Plan Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their tree farming companies. If you're unfamiliar with creating a tree farming business plan, you may think creating one will be a time-consuming and frustrating process.

  9. How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm Business

    1. What is the bare minimum investment to get started in Christmas tree farming if you already have land (i.e. what is the cost to buy seed, work the land, maintain, etc.)? The seed has already been taken from the cone and made into a seedling approx 1′ to 1 1/2′ tall. Different tree seedlings are priced differently.

  10. How To Start a Christmas Tree Farm? 11 Things (2024) to Know

    1. Why Should You Start a Christmas Tree Farm? The first step to any big business venture is understanding why you should take the leap. And when it comes to Christmas tree farming, there are plenty of compelling reasons to start. Make Money

  11. 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.

  12. How to Start a Christmas Tree Farm Business

    1. Understand the Industry Christmas Trees were added to the federal agriculture census in 1997, when the responsibility for census shifted from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

  13. How to Make Money Selling Christmas Trees (Christmas Tree Lot Business

    MoneyPantry How to Make Money Selling Christmas Trees (Christmas Tree Lot Business Plan) by Saeed - Verified & Updated May 25, 2022 (This post may contain affiliate links.) Advertisements As the holidays and gift buying season gets closer, most of us start to think about how we need money for Christmas.

  14. What To Know About Setting Up A Christmas Tree Lot

    The most convenient place for trees on our property is a little bit of a walk from our parking area. This means we'll be using additional equipment and staff to help shuttle trees to customer's vehicles. #85 Setting Up Our Christmas Tree Lot. The Kubota Drives Fence Posts. Watch on. Another consideration for the layout is for the actual trees.

  15. 27 Most Profitable Small Farm Ideas

    Here are 27 of the most profitable small farming ideas: Rural Agriculture Small Farm Ideas Rural farms are located in outlying areas of the country. The vast land area is perfect for cultivating food crops, rearing livestock, and hunting; however, farming activities are highly dependent upon the seasons and natural weather conditions.

  16. How to Start a Tree Farm Business

    Start growing trees from seeds consistently and in a year or two, you'll have products to sell to homeowners, landscapers, and other contractors. 2. Know what your tax structure is going to be. Even though you're structured as a tree farm, the moment you sell something directly to a customer, you're also considered a business.

  17. Sample Farm Business Plan

    For aspiring farm business owners, having access to a sample farm business plan can be especially helpful in providing direction and gaining insight into how to draft their own farm business plan. Download our Ultimate Farm Business Plan Template. Having a thorough business plan in place is critical for any successful farm venture.

  18. How to Start a Small Farm Business

    The short answer: if you want to start a business, you will need a business plan. In the writing of the business plan, you will consider markets, supply and demand, as well as anything and ...

  19. Basic steps in establishing a farm business

    Make sure to keep farm records separate from your personal records. Establish a farm checkbook where sales income is deposited and checks are written for expenses. You will be able to create a profit and loss statement quarterly anr/or annually with this information. Treat your farming activities as a trade or business so you can complete a ...

  20. [4K] Walking Streets Moscow. Moscow-City

    Walking tour around Moscow-City.Thanks for watching!MY GEAR THAT I USEMinimalist Handheld SetupiPhone 11 128GB for Street https://...

  21. How Drones Are Used in Business │ Business Uses for Drones

    Don Carson: There are really two key areas of business value today. One is gaining efficiencies and reducing operating costs, and the second is employee safety. Drones can take video or photographs to assess conditions and help companies pinpoint where services or equipment might be at risk.

  22. How to Grow Poplar Tree: A Guide to Propagation, Planting ...

    Apply more water to ensure the soil around the cutting is thoroughly moistened. Mulch the base of the cutting with a ring of 1 to 2 inches thick. Mulch should not touch the cutting to prevent mold growth. The ground around the cutting should be thoroughly and deeply moistened while it develops roots.

  23. 35 Free Newsletter Templates for Google Docs

    You need to decide on the layout you like, copy it to Google Drive, and edit it by adding your data. All Google Docs newsletter templates in the online gallery have a sophisticated design developed by professionals. After editing, you will receive a newsletter that will look like you ordered it from a high-value specialist. Newsletter Templates.