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Farmers can purchase seedlings, the lifeblood of a Christmas tree farm, from nurseries.
Flat or gently rolling land is preferred to that with steep slopes and inclines, which is prone to erosion and fluctuations in fertility.
Noticeable obstructions, such as rocks, fences or significant underbrush, are also undesirable.
Certain species of birds are also considered pests, including the pine grosbeak, which feeds on conifer buds, The Department of Agriculture's United States Standards for Grades of Christmas Trees took effect on October 30, 1989, covering "sheared or unsheared trees of the coniferous species which are normally marketed as Christmas trees".
Christmas trees can be harvested and marketed in different ways.
If the necessary elements are not available in the local soil, nutritious fertilizers are used.
The weather, as with other agricultural endeavors, plays a key outcome in the yield of a Christmas tree farm.Both woody plants and herbaceous weeds must be controlled prior to planting; this is most often done by application of a chemical herbicide.After the trees are in the ground, work on the crop continues.Christmas tree cultivation is an agricultural, forestry, and horticultural occupation which involves growing pine, spruce, and fir trees specifically for use as Christmas trees.The first Christmas tree farm was established in 1901, but most consumers continued to obtain their trees from forests until the 1930s and 1940s.Invasive insect species, such as the pine shoot beetle and the gypsy moth, also threaten Christmas tree crops.Mammals such as deer, gophers and ground squirrels are also threats to Christmas tree crops, due to the damage they cause to roots and buds.Animal pests (especially insects) and diseases must be monitored and controlled, and weed growth must also be minimized.Many species of pine and fir require pruning and shearing two to four years after planting to maintain the classic Christmas tree shape.Christmas tree farms are best located on relatively level land which is free of obstructions.In the past, Christmas tree farmers established their plantations on less desirable agricultural plots or "wastelands of agriculture".