ABOUT THE TREE FARM
We met in Flagstaff when we were both guiding raft trips on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. We still enjoy getting out on the river and into the wilderness as much as we can.
ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF REAL CHRISTMAS TREES
If you recycle the tree you cut, it will be ground into mulch which will slowly decompose and turn into carbon-rich soil. In this way, your tree can help to remove some carbon from the atmosphere and lock it up in the soil. While your tree is growing, it also provides wildlife habitat, breathes in CO2 and breathes out oxygen. These are some reasons why cutting a real Christmas tree is more sustainable than buying a fake tree, manufactured and shipped from China, and containing heavy metals.
ABOUT GROWING THE TREES
Christmas trees are hard to grow along the Front Range of Colorado. Our cold dry winters and hot dry summers are hard on evergreens. We grow trees which do well in our climate: Scotch Pines and Blue Spruce, with a few Doug Firs thrown in. Here are the steps we followed in making our Christmas tree farm.
1. Rent a Bobcat and plow up the back yard. Then sow the yard with Buckwheat and Clover. Water, to make the cover crop grow. (Bobcat’s are pretty fun!)
2. Mow down the first cover crop. Rent the Bobcat again, and turn that cover crop in. Form the field into future planting beds. Plant a second cover crop of winter rye on the beds. Seed the paths with grass. Water like crazy.
3. Early in the spring, turn the second cover crop in. Mark out the paths and water lines.
4. Cover beds with landscape cloth to conserve soil moisture.
5. Rent a ditch witch and dig the water trenches.
6. Build a water shed to house the water system. Build and install waterlines for 8 zones of drip irrigation. Flush and test lines. Then bury them. Keep fingers crossed that the water will flow correctly.
7. PLANT THE TREES! FINALLY! Of course the trees arrived during the biggest snow of the year.
8. Cut holes in landscape cloth and pull trees through. Staple down landscape fabric. Run 4000 feet of drip pipe down between the trees. Insert 977 emitters (one per tree). Flush and test.
9. Cover fabric with mulch. Water, fertilize, mow and weed. Wait for the trees to grow. Practice patience.
10. Start pruning the trees when they are 3-4 years old. Scotch Pines need to be sheared each year to make a nicely formed Christmas tree. Spruce and firs don't need as much pruning.
copyright © 2010; Your Neighborhood Christmas Tree Farm; all rights reserved
Serving Colorado's Front Range, including Boulder, Denver, Louisville, Lafayette, Longmont, Superior, Erie, Westminster, Broomfield, and surrounding areas.