Growing Trees For Profit
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Growing trees for profit is an ideal part-time or full-time business for anyone who would like to be their own boss and enjoys being outdoors working with plants. Trees are a valuable and renewable resource that can be raised in a small backyard or acreage. Best of all, trees are not a seasonal crop like flowers or vegetables. If your flowers or harvested vegetables don’t sell, you don’t make anything. Instead, trees just go on thriving, so you can sell the larger trees next year for more money. That’s one of the foremost reasons to grow trees – their value keeps rising each year.
You can establish a tree growing business with a pint-sized investment of money – as little as a few hundred dollars. You don’t need a degree in horticulture either – just some good sense and the capacity to learn as you grow.
During good times or bad, having a ‘back-up’ business in your spare-time is a great way to secure yourself from the ups and downs of the economy and the job market. A tree growing business can bring you with a solid income working just a few hours a week. If you opt to turn it into a full-time business, your earnings can grow as fast as your trees.
The very best way to insure your tree growing success is to grow ‘high-value’ trees, which bring a premium price for either the trees or products made from the trees. Here are just a few of the valuable trees to consider:
BONSAI— With a history dating back thousands of years, bonsai, the art of growing miniature trees, is still improving in worldwide popularity. Millions of people around the world cherish these natural beauties, which require very little space given their compact size. This is just one of the reasons why a bonsai nursery makes sense for anybody with modest growing space. These high-value trees can provide a sizable income in a very modest nursery area.
FRUIT TREES-– There is an increasing demand for both backyard fruit trees that can generate a crop for homeowners aiming to cut down food costs and as a commercial tree for those thinking about starting a fruit tree nursery on small acreage. There is a revived interest in the heritage fruit trees, such as antique apples, some of which date back to Thomas Jefferson’s time. Thanks to tree researchers, dwarf fruit tree varieties are now available that can produce two or three times per acre what standard trees produce, and start production in just three or four years.
JAPANESE MAPLE-– Acer palmatum is a smaller tree with an extensive range of leaf shapes and colorations that are grown in most climate zones. Retail nurseries often regard Japanese maples as a ‘collector’s tree,’ as collectors are prepared to pay high prices. As an example, a nearby nursery that specializes in larger sized trees charges $ 200 to $ 2,000 for “specimen” Japanese maples with at least a 2″ diameter trunk. Landscapers often use these wonderful trees as part of an arrangement or as a stand-alone specimen tree. The Japanese maple is a sensible choice for a tree nursery with modest space.
LANDSCAPE TREES— A backyard tree nursery is an excellent business for anyone who wishes to earn an income from a ‘green’ business that can be started on a shoestring. From apple trees to yews, there are hundreds of popular trees which can be grown and sold to homeowners, landscapers and retail nurseries.
NUT TREES— A five-acre patch of mature nut trees can generate a full-time source of income when well managed. The best and newest method is using permaculture to set up a natural forest, with taller nut trees, especially walnuts and chestnuts for the upper story and shade-tolerant nuts, like filberts, for the lower story. Growing nut tree seedlings to sell on a piece of the acreage can provide added income. When the larger sized trees are full-grown, they can be selectively harvested for their valuable timber, which can fetch several thousand dollars for just one tree. Growing walnut trees can be particularly profitable, as the timber is extremely valuable. Nut breeders have developed new cultivars that yield younger and are hardier. Best of all, these new cultivars produce even bigger, tastier nuts that are very easy to split. These improved trees have meant increased appeal, so tree nurseries have seen strong sales from homeowners who want to be able to pick their own nuts.
TREE FARMING— Old-fashioned single crop tree farms, with row after row of nothing but trees, with little on the ground between trunks is quickly being replaced by a ‘greener’ and more profitable system called agroforestry. Agroforestry is a program that includes crops, or livestock, or both, with tree farming to supply diversified cash flow, better water retention and enhanced habitat for livestock and wildlife. Done right, it can provide much higher income, food for grazing animals, erosion control, shelter for the animals from sun and wind, even fix nitrogen in the soil! Launching a tree farm, if you have the acreage, can be a profitable business.
WILLOW TREES— If you do an online search of the term ‘willow basket weaving,’ you will find about 250,000 links. Basket weaving is enjoying a renewal of interest, as both serious artists and hobbyists discover this all-purpose plant material. That has created a market for willow cuttings in a rainbow of colors. In addition, there is strong demand for potted willow trees. Willow cuttings, taken from existing trees, may be sold for conservation and biomass programs.
CHRISTMAS TREES— Producing Christmas trees is a popular and profitable tree crop for over 20,000 growers in the United States. Almost all growers plant over 2,000 trees per acre, so if you own or can lease as little as an acre of land, you can begin Christmas tree farming. As the number of city dwellers increases, smaller tabletop trees have become more popular, even at prices of $ 30 – $ 50 per tree. Many buyers want to buy living uncut Christmas trees that can be kept in a container or the backyard until the next holiday season. Some growers have discovered they can make as much cash each holiday season from ‘greens’ like decorative boughs, garlands and wreaths, as from their cut tree sales.