Christmas Tree Farm Profit per Acre (Detailed Breakdown)

The total value of Christmas trees sold in the United States each year was estimated to be around $2.04 billion. However, this can be affected by the cost of production, such as labor, transportation, and materials. To grasp how profitable Christmas tree farming is, this article will provide a detailed breakdown of the costs and profits of a Christmas tree farm per acre.

To calculate profit per acre, subtract the total production costs from the total revenue. If you sell 1,500 trees at $60 each, your revenue would be $90,000. If your total production cost for a 1-acre Christmas tree farm is $22,000, your profit would be $68,000 in total.

To maximize the profit potential of every acre on a Christmas tree farm, you'll need to carefully manage your resources, understand production costs, and make smart management decisions. Let's get to know each of these factors in detail below.

Getting a detailed breakdown of the profit per acre can guide you in starting your own profitable Christmas tree farm from scratch.


  • To calculate the profit for a 1-acre Christmas tree farm, you must first know the total production costs. Be updated of the current market price and planting density per acre of your chosen Christmas tree species.
  • When calculating profit per acre, you can subtract the total production costs from the total revenue to get your net profit.
  • There are several factors that can influence the profitability of a Christmas tree farm, such as production cost, market demand, tree quality, and tree management practices.

Profit Potential of a Christmas Tree Farm

To calculate the profit per acre of your Christmas tree farm, you'll need to consider both fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs include expenses that don't change regardless of the number of trees you produce, such as land, equipment, and labor. Variable costs include expenses that vary based on the number of trees you produce, such as seedlings, fertilizer, and pest control.

Below is a table showing the total production costs of a 1-acre Christmas tree farm:

Investment Item Estimated Cost
Land $2,000 - $10,000
Seedlings $1,000 - $3,000
Equipment $10,000 - $20,000
Irrigation System $1,000 - $5,000
Fertilizer and Herbicides $1,000 - $2,000
Labor $5,000 - $10,000
Insurance $1,000 - $2,000
Marketing $1,000 - $2,000
Total Cost $22,000 - $54,000

To get a more detailed discussion on the costs of starting a Christmas tree farm, you can visit this article: How Much Does It Cost to Start a Christmas Tree Farm?

Purchasing enough land for a profitable Christmas tree farm

The average size of a Christmas tree farm must be at least 10–20 acres to grow various tree species with enough spacing to maintain their healthy growth. The estimated value of land for a tree farm varies depending on the size of the operation.

For small-scale farms measuring 1–5 acres, you can expect to spend around $1,000–$5,000. For medium-sized farms with 10–50 acres, the cost can quickly escalate to $10,000–$50,000. For large-scale commercial tree farms measuring 100 to 500 acres, the cost can be around $100,000 to $500,000.

When choosing the size of land for your Christmas tree farm, you may want to check for which purpose you are growing Christmas trees. For hobbyists and those who want to earn extra income only, a small-scale Christmas tree farm with 1–5 acres can do.

Choosing the right Christmas tree species

Below is a table showing the current market price of different species of Christmas trees as well as their planting density per acre:

Species Average Market Price Planting Density (trees/acre)
Balsam Fir $60 - $80 1,000 - 1,500
Douglas Fir $50 - $70 1,000 - 1,500
Fraser Fir $70 - $100 1,500 - 2,000
Noble Fir $80 - $120 1,000 - 1,500
Scotch Pine $40 - $60 1,500 - 2,000
White Pine $30 - $50 1,000 - 1,500
Blue Spruce $70 - $100 800 - 1,200
Norway Spruce $50 - $70 800 - 1,200

Each species of Christmas tree has unique characteristics, growth patterns, and site requirements. But mostly, they prefer well-drained soils, moderate to cool climates, and full sun exposure. You may get to know more about the different Christmas tree species as you read this article.

The potential profit per acre of a Christmas tree farm

To calculate profit per acre, subtract your total production costs from your total revenue.

For example, if you have a 1-acre Christmas tree farm which has a spacing of 5–6 feet between trees and 6–8 feet between rows, it can accommodate 1, 500 trees. Let's say the tree of your choice is a Balsam fir tree. Your calculation should be as follows:

Total number of trees in an acre x Average market price per tree = Total revenue
1,500 Balsam fir trees x $60 = $90,000

Total revenue - Total production costs = Net revenue
$90,000 - $22,000 = $68,000

If your total production costs for a 1-acre Christmas tree farm consisting of 1,500 Balsam fir trees were $22,000, your profit for a 1-acre farm can total up to $68,000.

Factors Affecting the Profitability of a Christmas Tree Farm

Production costs can impact profitability

The cost of producing Christmas trees can vary depending on factors such as seedling costs, fertilizer costs, pest control expenses, land, equipment, irrigation, labor, insurance, and marketing. Higher production costs can reduce profits, while lower production costs can increase profits.

The market demand commands the pricing of Christmas trees

The demand for Christmas trees can vary from year to year, depending on factors such as the economy, weather, and consumer preferences. If demand is high, prices may be higher, and profits may increase.

Conversely, if demand is low, prices may be lower, and profits may decrease. The price you can get for your trees will depend on the demand for Christmas trees in your area and the wholesale prices offered by buyers.

The quality of the tree affects their profitability

The quality of your trees can affect the price you can get for them. Trees that are of higher quality are generally more desirable to customers, which can result in higher prices and increased profits. For example, some species may have better needle retention or a more attractive shape.

Conversely, trees of lower quality may be less desirable to customers and may sell for lower prices, which can reduce profits.

Management decisions can affect the profitability of a Christmas tree farm

Decisions such as when to plant, how to fertilize, and when to harvest can all affect the profitability of your Christmas tree farm.

Trees that are pruned regularly, fertilized appropriately, and protected from pests and disease are more likely to be of higher quality and can fetch premium prices than trees that are neglected.

The way the tree is harvested and handled can also impact its quality. Trees that are harvested carefully and transported properly are less likely to be damaged, resulting in higher quality and higher prices.

Understanding the typical profit per acre for a Christmas tree farm can help inform you of the size of operation you will need to generate the desired level of income based on average acreage profits.

Managing Costs and Maximizing Profits of a Christmas Tree Farm

To run a successful Christmas tree farm, here are some key areas to focus on to manage costs and maximize profits:

Take into account the labor and machinery costs

One of the biggest expenses for a Christmas tree farm is labor and machinery costs. You may need to hire seasonal laborers to help with planting, pruning, harvesting, and other tasks.

You might also need to invest in machinery such as tractors, mowers, and pruning equipment. To keep these costs under control, you could consider the following:

  • Estimate your labor and machinery needs carefully to avoid over-hiring or over-investing.
  • Consider custom machinery or work rate estimates to optimize your equipment usage.
  • Keep up with maintenance and repairs to extend the life of your machinery and avoid costly breakdowns.

Keep track of insurance and permits

To protect your investment, you may need to invest in insurance and permits. This includes fire insurance, liability insurance, and permits for harvesting and selling your trees. To manage these costs, perhaps consider the following:

  • Shop around for insurance providers to find the best rates.
  • Stay up-to-date on regulations and permitting requirements to avoid fines and penalties.

Bookkeeping and budgeting

To keep track of your expenses and revenues, you might want to have a solid bookkeeping system and budgeting resources. This includes tracking your cost of growing, seasonal labor expenses, depreciation, real estate taxes, land charges, and other costs. To manage these costs, consider the following:

  • Invest in a good bookkeeping system to track your expenses and revenues.
  • Use industry benchmarks to compare your costs to other Christmas tree farms.
  • Develop a budgeting plan to help you stay on track and avoid overspending.

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