How Long Does it Take to Grow a Christmas Tree?

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Whether you are the type of person who starts counting down to Christmas in January or someone who just appreciates the beauty of the season, you know how important a Christmas tree is. Instead of heading to a Christmas tree farm, why not think about planting your own in your backyard. We’ll help you decide the best type of Christmas tree to plant and how far into the future it will take to be ready.

How long does it take to grow a Christmas tree? As always, there are some factors that come into play in determining how long it takes to grow a Christmas tree. While some trees can take as little as four years to grow, other varieties need at least nine years.

Furthermore, size determines when your tree is ready to be chopped down. If you have a standard room with a nine-foot ceiling, you can comfortably have a six-foot tree. However, if you have a gaping entranceway, you will want a towering Christmas tree. The taller the tree, the longer you have to wait. While patience is a must, if you have it, you can plant future Christmas trees in your backyard for your personal use or even start your own tree farm.

Types of Christmas Trees

There is no one standard type of Christmas tree as it all comes down to preference. Some people love a bushy tree full of branches while others prefer wide-set branches with plenty of space.

  • Fast-Growing Christmas Trees
    • Cypress – If you get a lot of rainfall and live in a moist climate but have soil with proper drainage, then Cypress trees are a good option. They also have a beautiful range of colors, including blue-green and dark green, and their branches have a lovely spicey scent. Cypress trees are ready in a mere four years.
    • Pine – Perfect whether you live in a cold or warm climate, Pine trees are also not as picky when it comes to soil conditions. They are ready for harvest around five to six years.
    • Cedars – A bit more delicate, Cedar trees prefer warmer areas and are often found in southern parts of the United States. They often have a pyramid shape which means less pruning on your end. Cedars are ready in about four years.
  • Average-Growing Christmas Trees
    • Fir – If you have well-drained soil that is rather fertile, fir trees will go great. They naturally grow pretty symmetrical so you won’t need to prune too much. While there are different types, the Douglas Fir is the most common for Christmas trees.  Fir trees are ready in about seven to nine years.
  • Slow-Growing Christmas Trees
    • Spruce – Those that live in colder climates will do well with spruce trees. They have thick branches that are nice and sturdy, which makes them great if you love to include all your precious ornaments. Spruce trees are ready in seven to 10 years.

Is there money in selling Christmas trees?

It might have been a while since you last purchased a Christmas tree, but on average they can cost between $60 and $80. While this can seem a bit extravagant, most people are happy to pay it once a year.

If you have a Christmas tree farm, you can quickly see how a bunch of trees add up.

While the entire money you get from a Christmas tree will not be profit, a good chunk will be. Plus, while you will need to maintain your trees throughout the year, you only need to do about one month of actual work.

While there are some people who prefer artificial Christmas trees, there is a vast majority that love the smell and looks of a real tree. It’s not uncommon for Christmas tree farms to sell out after being open for just a few weekends.

Furthermore, grocery stores sell pre-cut trees and this is another avenue to pursue if you have excess trees and a small local population.

Apart from time and land, and a bit of pruning, there isn’t much you need to do while growing Christmas trees, which is why it makes for an excellent side business.

Are Christmas tree farms profitable?

Christmas tree farms are profitable and make for an excellent hobby farm. The biggest overhead cost will be the land. Land can be very expensive, depending on where you live, and you won’t see a profit from your Christmas trees for quite a few years.

As long as you can cover the costs, especially if you have inherited the land, or live in a rural setting, you will be able to make money.

Christmas trees are planted as saplings and the costs are minimal. You can choose to grow them from seed yourself or purchase saplings when they are one to two years old, depending on how much work you want to put in.

Once you plant your saplings, you will need to perform regular maintenance to ensure the trees have that symmetrical look most people want. This can be done once or twice a year and while it may seem overwhelming at first, you quickly get into a rhythm.

Finally, you will want to plant a wide selection of trees. Douglas Fir trees are the most common Christmas trees, and they are ready in about seven to nine years.

Your tree selection will depend on your climate and soil conditions, so choose wisely. You want a mix of trees that grow quickly and others that may take a bit longer.

Also, remember that trees that are too tall won’t sell. So, if you have a U-Pick tree farm, you also want to pre-cut some larger trees and have them at a discounted price, or else you won’t make any money from them.


Christmas just isn’t complete without a Christmas tree. You can plant a few in your backyard for future use or, if you have enough land, create a hobby farm of Christmas trees. While they take a lot of time to grow, they don’t require a lot of maintenance.

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