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Christmas Trees FAQ

Whether you are someone interested in starting a Christmas tree farm, diversifying your farm to include Christmas trees, or have been growing for a few years and need more information, questions often arise. Here are some frequently asked questions with concise answers from the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape Program.

I am planning to start a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm. How do I find out what varieties to grow, the number of trees to plant, start-up costs and other information?

The Massachusetts Christmas Tree Association will be helpful in connecting you with other growers, workshops and newsletters.

You may also be interested in an agricultural law regarding liability for farmers who have pick-your-own (including Christmas trees) farms.

Also, see this website for an excellent publication, “Growing Christmas Trees in North Carolina”, from the North Carolina Extension website.

Where can I find out about Chapter 61 tax incentive programs?

See a good explanation about chapter 61 from UMass Extension Forest Conservation Program.

What publications, newsletters and workshops are available for Christmas tree growers in Massachusetts?

Contact the Massachusetts Christmas Tree Association (MCTA).

The Christmas Tree Pest Manual 3rd edition (large pdf file) by the USDA Forest Service can help identify and manage pests of Christmas trees in the northeast.

Where can I have an insect or disease problem diagnosed or a weed identified from my tree farm?

The Plant Diagnostics Laboratory at University of Massachusetts, Amherst accepts specimens related to all woody plants caused by insects, diseases, and/or weeds. Information on fees and guidelines for sending samples is available on this website.

The UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry Program publishes weekly landscape pest messages throughout the growing season.

I am planning to grow Christmas trees in Massachusetts. How do I find out about the type of soil I have and whether it is suitable for growing Christmas trees?

Soil surveys are available through USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

For more information contact:
USDA - Contact Information

Where can I obtain information on how to take a soil sample for testing and where can I get it tested?

Information on taking a soil sample and how to send it is available from the University of Massachusetts soil test lab.

For fertilizing Christmas trees see Spectrum Analytic Guide, a 26 page guide to fertilizing Christmas trees.

I have a Christmas tree farm in Massachusetts. Where can I purchase the signs Grown in Massachusetts for my farm?

Signs and other point-of-purchase materials can be purchased through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDFA). Two slogans are used to promote locally grown and produced products. MDFA offers materials including price cards, posters, shelf talkers, and stickers. Ordering information is available from .

I want to direct customers to my Christmas tree farm from the main road. How do I get the blue agricultural signs, like the ones I see on the roads, to direct customers to my farm?

The Agricultural Directional Signage Program is managed in cooperation with the Massachusetts Highway Department and in collaboration with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. The Ag. Signage Program allows for the placement of agricultural directional signs along state roadways for farms located off those roadways. For more information see these webpages: - Directional Signs