There are an abundance of excellent resources available on Christmas tree production, selections of which are linked below.
Important note: information originating from sources outside of Ontario should be taken as guidance only. Recommendations with specific quantities (i.e. fertilizer rates) can be very site-specific and may not be optimal for Ontario conditions.
Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario: Thinking about growing Christmas trees?
Cornell University Cooperative Extension: Starting a Christmas Tree Farm in CNY
Landscape Ontario: Tree planting guide – includes site assessment, tree selection, site preparation, tree procurement, installation and management
Michigan State University: Getting Started – includes species selection, site selection, cultural practices, cost of production, marketing options
MSU: Planting fundamentals – includes information on handling nursery stock, planting season, and spacing
MSU: Species selection – includes profiles on popular Christmas trees
PennState Extension: Christmas Tree Operation – Producer video describing the benefits, challenges, and marketing opportunities of a Christmas Tree operation.
PennState Extension: Christmas Tree Production – includes marketing, site selection, production, maintenance, pest management
University of New Hampshire – Establishing the Christmas Tree Plantation
Fertility, Media, Water
OMAFRA Pub 841: Soil, Media, and Water Quality Management
Oregon State University: Christmas Tree Nutrient Management Guide
Rutgers University Cooperative Extension: Soil Fertility Recommendations for Christmas Trees
University of Minnesota Extension: Fertilizing evergreens
Products must be registered in Canada and on Christmas trees if you wish to use them. If you are considering using a product not listed in Ontario publications, make sure to check its registration status using PMRA’s Product Label Database. You can also download the app on Google Play or through the Apple Store for easy access.
OMAFRA Pub 840: Crop Protection Guide for Nursery and Landscape Plants –
OMAFRA Pub 841: Guide to Nursery and Landscape Plant Production and IPM
OMAFRA Pub 841: Insect and Disease Management
OMAFRA Pub 841: Rodents and Deer
OMAFRA Pub 841: Weed Management
MSU: Identifying weeds in Christmas trees
MSU: Michigan Christmas Tree Pest Management Guide and companion piece MSU: How to use USDA Christmas Tree Pest Manual
MSU: Pest Management – Includes general insecticide application information, and other helpful links
PennState Extension: Christmas Tree Production
USDA Christmas Tree Pest manual (2014)
Marketing and Retail
CTFO: Guide to Successful Retailing – includes planning, location, purchasing, storing, and pricing
MSU: Four Lessons from COVID-19 for the Future of Christmas Tree Marketing
PennState Extension: Christmas Tree Production – includes marketing principles, risk management, sample budget
University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Christmas Tree Marketing – includes what to do before planting, during growing, and up to and during harvest