Norway Spruce and Nordmann Fir are possibly two of the most easily recognisable varieties of Christmas trees sold in the UK. They are a reasonably easy to grow extra source of income for smallholders and for the larger estates and farms.
When starting a plantation it is worth remembering that it will be about 6-10 years before harvesting can start however once harvesting begins for the first crop then replanting and selecting those to be left can ensure a staggered and protracted supply time and income.
Picea abies (Norway Spruce) is the more economical of the two species both as a grower and for the purchaser however they are slower growing and becoming a little less popular as the non-drop varieties become more favoured. The Norway Spruce can need trimming to ensure the classic xmas tree shape.
Ground preparation as with all crops is essential and weed free level ground should provide the best return in terms of healthy strong trees. Good fencing for both deer and rabbit protection is essential The Nordmann Fir (Abies nordmanniana) xmas tree is possibly the variety rising most swiftly in popularity owing to its pleasing shape and non -drop needle habit as a grower it makes a sensible choice as it tends to be more disease resistant. Planting and managing of both species of xmas tree will provide the best return if decisions on how the marketing and future sales are to be carried out.
Whether planting in straight rows for ease of maintenance and lifting or planting informally to allow the public access to select their own. Buying bare root plants in varying sizes will also allow for selective harvesting earlier.