Hooray for snow! Not too much at a time and not too cold works for me! And we need the water to get us out of drought conditions.
So this doesn’t seem very ‘IPMy’ but production factors make a difference in pest management. More bugs and diseases next time! Promise!
How to keep your trees happy and green? Michigan State just put out 2 articles on fertilizer sources:
Part 1 and Part 2
They also reference a U Minnesota (Go, Gophers!) article on the nitrogen cycle in soil
And Rutgers has a nice article on Soil Fertility Recommendations for Christmas Trees with information on when to apply nitrogen. They recommend 3 weeks before bud break but also discuss using a split application of spring and fall applications. I must admit, I favor a split application for risk avoidance in case the weather at one season is not helpful.
So how does one calculate 3 weeks before bud break? We haven’t found any calculators yet. I’ve looked for information on temperature or other conditions that might help but haven’t found what I was looking for yet. So it is up to you and your experience!
You can still register for the webinar series on Christmas tree genetics and Tree Improvement.
They have been quite interesting. If you register, they will send you the recorded webinars even if you can’t attend. Here are links for the first two.
Feb. 1 webinar, “The Tree Improvement Process: Selection, Testing, & Breeding,”
Feb. 8 webinar: “Capturing Genetic Gains: Seed Collection Zones & Seed Orchards,”
I love getting responses to my emails. The information on costs for producing an acre of trees caused at least a few of you to 1) laugh hysterically, 2) shake your heads in disbelief or 3) send me a response. Jon Freckleton is willing to let me reprint his here and I am doing it because I think it brings out a lot of information – especially for new growers – that is really important. It makes the point that real growers are a resource that should not be ignored and that the ability to balance all these factors is an incredible skill! And, regardless of the frustrated tone, Jon loves growing and selling trees! So thanks for helping those of us in research and extension to get a real world view. This might actually lead to a grant and some locally produced information!
I reviewed the attachments and the persons writing them must be on drugs! Seven to ten year cycles are ridiculous and selling 5′, 6′ and 7’max trees is a dream that will not come true! All have time and expense of monitoring but then lack the hours to call IPM, show to IPM, buy and apply spray, or cut out bad trees! They are all growing in the land of milk and honey. None have an “oh *&%$#” late frost that kills a years growth! All show constant dollars! Where is real world inflation? Where is liability insurance? Repair tools? All imply accuracy to either the penny, or the dollar! None reflect the real world repairs, dealing with nests of yellow jackets, woodchucks, deer, etc. None show time to drive for parts, supplies, Urgent Care, IPM and grower schools. None show cost of Grower Organization membership. None show time and expense of applicator license, etc. None show office mgt time, and tax prep time. None show time to market trees, time with buyers marking trees, and to carry trees that haven’t sold. None show winterizing and storing equipment, etc etc. None show serious rain gear and gloves, none show safety equipment: chain saw gloves, chaps, helmet, shoes and boots. None show Comp Ins, and other insurance and permits to legally hire help; nor a discussion of the risks of hiring “under-the-table” help we are forced into at small farms.
1- WP article: costs too low
2- PA article: very good write up at start; costs to the penny imply accuracy to the penny!! Costs do NOT reflect minimum quantity of material that can be purchased; repair costs way too low and lacks repair hours, where is the machinery the fuel is burned in?
3- Oregon: 90% 6-7!? market wants 8+; 1500/ac!! must have roads; Repair on tractor @ $.5 & truck @ $.15; while backpack @ $2.14, elev at $12, and baler @ $18???? Tractor and trk way too low (in 40+ yrs my only back pack repair was a lost tip); need insurance on shop: five years to 6-7′ Gr 1??? No mowing? Again implied accuracy to a penny!! Assumes market to sell all trees at 6-7′ at decent price!!
4- Kentucky: starts great and then: again no roads with 1200/ac, again done in 7 yrs, too much machinery that is only used once and the prices shown are for very used equipment so there needs to be money in tools and parts. Fifth year pruning with sale sized trees in 16hr?? coloring with a 4g backpack in 4 hr!! All mowing with a tractor with 3.5′ bush hog in full sized trees!! and selling 6-7′ in five years, won’t happen since that bush hog is going to ruin lower branches (especially at 6×6 planting) selling 5′ & 6′ trees!!!??? demand is 8 – 10 and up. again no repair hours.
Have a great week!