While most farm-grown Christmas trees you find in those tents come from Oregon or North Carolina, you can find a few farms in Texas.
The Texas Christmas tree market can be profitable, but it requires time and long-term investment. Most trees are marketed when they grow to at least six feet, but some trees may only grow a foot per year.
The planting site can only be used to produce Christmas trees and requires well-drained and deep top soils of loam, sandy loam or clay loam texture.
Soil moisture is critical during the first year when it needs adequate rain. Irrigation systems can help.
To produce quality trees, bi-annual hand-shaping is essential in late April and mid-July.
Because we have hot summers and warm nights, you can only grow a limited number of certain trees. The most common trees you'll find on a Texas Christmas tree farm are not the popular ones like a Balsam, Fraser or a Douglas Fir.
Texas trees include:
- The Virginia Pine, a short-needled pine with fragrance, dense foliage and strong limbs for those heavy ornaments.
- An Afghan Pine, with sturdy branches that are spread farther apart, giving it a more open appearance.
- The Leyland Cypress, perfect if you're allergic to trees and will outlast many other trees without leaving needles on the floor.
- An Eastern Red Cedar, which has more a classic "Christmas tree" shape.
- Carolina Sapphire or Arizona Cypress, which grows fast and has a beautiful blue color.
For over 40 years, Texas State Parks has harvested Christmas trees for the Texas State Capitol. This year, Rangers brought Mamie II from Eisenhower State Park in Denison.
It's a "very tall" homegrown Virginia Pine.
Some trees can make allergies kick in – have you heard of Christmas Tree Syndrome?