The growing of Christmas trees is similar to any agriculture product in that careful planning and solid cultural practices are required.
Seedlings are planted in rows (usually in the Spring) and irrigation is often required in the early years. Each summer after the growing season the tree is sheared (shaped with a machete-like knife) to ensure the shape and increase the density of the branches.
Fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides (all EPA approved) are applied as needed. The average growth for a tree is approximately one foot per year. After the tree reaches the desired height. the tree is tagged with a ribbon to designate that it is to be harvested in the Fall. Crews go to the fields and cut the trees with chain saws. The tree is then baled (run through a cone-like machine and either tied with twine or netting) and trucked to a loading yard (usually in a shaded area) until ready for shipping. A field of trees is generally cleared in three years and replanted for the next cycle.
For more information, visit the National Christmas Tree Association website.