How Long Does it Take a Christmas Tree to Grow?
It takes 5–12 years for a Christmas tree to reach a height of 5–7 feet. The individual growth rate of the tree depends on tree species, soil conditions, and cultivation practices. Have you ever been tempted to grow your own Christmas tree and wondered how long it takes? Or maybe you’re pondering the thought that you could start a small Christmas tree farm?
If you’ve got land to spare then growing Christmas trees is a great way to make use of it, but you need to be aware that it can be a long-term commitment.
The trees commonly used for our festive decorations are normally a rapidly growing variety, but even the fastest-growing tree will take time before it is big enough to use.
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What is the Fastest Growing Christmas Tree?
As a rule, cypress and cedar trees are the fastest-growing Christmas tree varieties. Specifically Leyland Cypress and Eastern Redcedar. Both of these varieties can grow from a seedling to a height of 5–7 feet in 5 years with careful cultivation. These species are best suited for warm regions. The fastest-growing Christmas trees for colder regions are pines, such as White Pine, Virginia Pine, and Scotch Pine. They will reach a mature height in 6 years.
- Eastern Redcedar/Leyland Cypress/Arizona Cypress: Reaches 5–7 feet in 5 years.
- White Pine/Scotch Pine/Sand Pine/Virginia Pine: Reaches 5–7 feet in 6 years.
- Firs and Spruces: Reach 5–7 feet in 10 years.
Fir and spruce trees are among the slowest growing evergreens. Some first require as long as 12 years before they reach a height of 6 feet. If you are looking to plant a fast-growing Christmas tree, avoid these varieties. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at some of the popular Christmas trees in the world.
How long does it take to grow a field of trees?
It takes about 11 years for a tree to reach 6 feet tall. When they go into the ground, they’re already 4 feet tall, and it takes another seven years, at minimum, before they hit the requisite height. So you’re talking about a very long-term investment. Along the way, you’re shaping and trimming the trees. Christmas trees don’t have that perfect look naturally; that’s all man-made. So it takes all those years of pruning to get it right. And of course, feeding and fertilizing them, making sure they’re insect- and disease-free. There’s a lot going on.
How Old is a 7ft Christmas Tree?
As I have talked about before, this answer depends on a lot of factors. Starting with which variety of trees are you using and factors such as nutrition, soil type, altitude, and climate will affect the growth rate a lot.
For example, high altitude will result in relatively slower growth. Similarly, if your region is prone to extreme cold or heat, the tree might get frostbite or become dry.
On average, if all other conditions are correct you can expect a tree to become 7ft in about 8-12 years. You don’t want to speed this up too much. The faster a tree grows, the lesser foliage it will have.
How Long Does it Take for a Christmas Tree to Mature?
The rate at which a Christmas tree grows depends on the species of the tree. Leyland Cypress and Eastern Redcedar can grow 3–4 feet in a year in ideal conditions and may be ready for Christmas tree harvesting in as little as 5 years. Pines grow slightly slower, but can reach a height of 7 feet within 6 years.
Spruces and firs grow much more slowly, and will not attain an adequate height of 5–7 feet for 10-12 years. Whether you are growing a Christmas tree in your yard or planning to start a Christmas tree farm, consider what species grow natively in your region. Typically, trees adapted to your local environment will perform best.
How Much Do Christmas Trees Usually Cost?
The prices of both real and fake Christmas trees have been on a rise recently. A lot of people have been blaming this on Millennials as they have started realizing it is more economical and safer for the environment to go for a real tree
Interestingly in the past three years, the price of real Christmas trees has risen by over 17%. Some people go for a real tree because of their nostalgia factor or they just prefer the feel of a real tree. For a 7ft tree, you can expect to spend as much as 85$.
Surprisingly one tip to get a real tree for cheaper is to buy it on Christmas eve as a lot of shops are trying to get rid of their stock. You can get the price down to as low as 50$.
When Should You Plant a Christmas Tree?
Whichever evergreen species you decide on for your Christmas tree, plant it in early spring. In regions with freezing winters, plant just after the spring thaw, in March or April. In regions where winter temperatures do not commonly dip below freezing, plant in February or March.
- In regions where winters bring a deep freeze, plant in March or April, just after the spring thaw.
- In regions where a deep freeze is rare, plant in February or March.
- Late spring planting can be successful if the tree is provided with adequate water.
- Water the newly planted tree(s) once per week for 2–3 hours with a soaker hose to prevent it from drying out.
Evergreens thrive in moist conditions, and newly planted trees need adequate water as they establish new roots. Early spring drives fast growth, but make sure the tree receives adequate water. Soak the ground at the base of the tree thoroughly with a soaker hose once per week. This can take 2–3 hours. Continue this for the first 2 months after planting to establish the tree. If you planted your evergreen later in spring, monitor the tree closely for dry needles and increase watering as necessary.
Average Christmas Tree Growing Time
Throughout the country and worldwide, people decorate many different types of trees for Christmas, so there’s no single answer to that question. Popular trees used for the holidays include fir, pine, spruce, cypress, and cedar. Of those, Fraser fir (Abies fraseri), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis x leylandii) are favorites of the Southern states. Each species has distinct soil and water needs, making some grow more quickly than others. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, “It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of typical height (six to seven feet) or as little as four years, but the average growing time is seven years.”
Fast-Growing Christmas Trees
1. Arizona Cypress
Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica) grows in Arizona and west Texas. It is also amenable to growing in southeastern states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, parts of the Florida panhandle, Tennessee, and North and South Carolina.
2. Leyland Cypress
This sapless tree is commonly grown in the southern states of the U.S. The Leyland cypress is a fast-growing variety of Christmas tree, with the young saplings shooting up by 3 to 4 feet per year in the right conditions.
3. Scotch Pine
The Scotch pine has a deep taproot, making it able to thrive in areas prone to drought. However, it does need regular trimming as it will not normally grow in a natural cone shape.
The best thing about the Scotch pine is that it hangs onto its needles for a long time, even without water.
4. Fraser Fir
Also known as the ‘white house’ tree, this is a perfect choice if you are thinking about going heavy with decorations. This is because of its strong branches which don’t droop if you hang too many items on them. You also get a little bit of that Christmas smell.
5. Douglas Fir
The Douglas fir prefers a milder climate than the Balsam fir and is popular in the northwest U.S.This variety is particularly good for holding its needles after cutting, avoiding the dreaded needle drop! It is also naturally cone-shaped and needs little maintenance.
Douglas fir is a popular choice for Christmas tree buyers, as it has a deep blue-green color and dense needles. It also has the classic Christmas tree scent that we all adore!
6. Balsam Fir
I would recommend this tree to anyone who is looking for that iconic Christmas tree smell. You can be sure that this tree will not only fill your living room but your entire house with the holiday smell. This tree also has a very vibrant dark green color with very soft needles. This tree is perfect for hanging wreaths.
7. Canaan Fir
Canaan fir (Abies balsamea var. phanerolepies), similar to Fraser and balsam firs, is found in Virginia and West Virginia. It grows at a relatively average rate of two to three feet per year.
Slow-Growing Christmas Trees
1. Virginia Pine
According to the University of Kentucky Department of Horticulture, the growth rate of Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) is slow. Still, the species can reach heights 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide in the right conditions. Found in Virginia and Kentucky, its growing range extends South to Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.
2. Eastern Redcedar
Despite its name, the Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) is a juniper rather than a cedar and grows at a slow to medium rate. The growth rate is around one to two feet per year when planted. The Eastern redcedar grows in areas beyond the South. Primarily it grows in Texas and Oklahoma.
Tips for the Best Christmas Tree Variety
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Christmas tree types – in the U.S alone, there are more than 35 commonly grown types of Christmas trees!
To see what type will grow best in your area and climate it is worth asking around to see what other farmers and homesteaders grow.
Tree saplings can be quite expensive, plus there is a large time commitment when you decide to allocate a piece of land for trees. It is vital that you pick the right variety at the start to give your trees the best possible chance of thriving.As you can see, many factors affect how long it takes for a Christmas tree to grow!
The most important thing is that you pick the right tree type for your soil type and climate. There is no point expecting a fast-growing Leyland cypress to thrive in a cold climate, and a Balsam fir will not thank you for being planted in a warm area.
To sum it all up, it is not that hard to grow a Christmas tree on your own if you have space for it. Sure, it will 8-10 years, but the end reward will be worth it. Make sure to do your research before starting the process. This includes the type of tree and getting your soil tested. Even if you are buying a tree make sure to trip the base and give it ample water to increase its life.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
How long does it take to grow a 7 ft Christmas tree?
It takes around 10 to 12 years to grow an average-sized 6-7ft Christmas tree from seed. They start from growing by seed in nurseries for 2 to 4 years and are then planted outdoors in Christmas tree farms for another 8 years.
How long does it take to grow a 5-foot Christmas tree?
It takes 5–12 years for a Christmas tree to reach a height of 5–7 feet. The individual growth rate of the tree depends on tree species, soil conditions, and cultivation practices.
How long does it take to grow 10 Christmas trees?
It can take anywhere between 4 and 15 years for a tree to reach that size, says the National Christmas Tree Association. For example, both the Douglas fir and the Fraser fir take 7 to 10 years to grow to a height of 6 to 7 feet. This is considered an average growth rate.
How can I make my Christmas tree grow faster?
Make sure the hole is much wider than the Christmas tree pot but slightly shallower. You should choose a spot that’s sheltered from the wind but gets plenty of light. This will help the tree grow healthily when it is planted.
How old is the average Christmas tree?
There are close to 15,000 farms growing Christmas Trees in the U.S., and over 100,000 people are employed full or part-time in the industry. It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of typical height (6 – 7 feet) or as little as 4 years, but the average growing time is 7 years.
How old are Christmas trees when cut?
Christmas trees take an average of 6 to 10 years (from transplant) to mature for harvest and each year 73 million new Christmas trees are planted.
How long does a 6ft Christmas tree take to grow?
between six and 10 years
Just as Santa begins wrapping presents long before the big day, the hard work involved in producing that aromatic centerpiece of many homes throughout the country takes dedication. But it’s not just 12 months of meticulous care – the average 6ft Christmas tree takes between six and 10 years to grow.
How do you grow a potted Christmas tree?
When planted in the garden, it’s important to place your potted Christmas tree in the right spot. Put fir trees in a sheltered spot as they like cool, moist conditions, and think about their position during hot summers, as they shouldn’t be in direct sunlight. Also, ensure it’s well watered during dry spells.
Do Christmas trees grow back?
Yes, a cut-off tree can be replanted and it can grow again. For a successful transplant, it is ideal that you’ve kept the tree inside for no more than 10 days, away from heat sources such as fireplaces or radiators and you’ve provided enough moisture to the earth ball.
Can I grow a Christmas tree?
Yes, you can plant your Christmas tree in your backyard if the root ball is intact. To keep your live Christmas tree after the holiday season ends, it’s best to start preparing to plant it around Thanksgiving so that you can dig a hole for it before it gets colder.
What’s the fastest-growing Christmas tree?
The bluish-gray foliage and conical shape make it an attractive and popular tree in many xeriscapes. It’s fast growth rate (up to two feet a year) makes Arizona cypress a nice choice for a Christmas tree.