Christmas tree growing update

We are surely late this year but in the last week our team of dedicated volunteers were back in the fields and tending to our crop of Christmas trees. It is year three now of our crop and so we are a full 4 years away from the first harvest and our first opportunity to sell our Christmas trees online on thegardenshop.ie


So far we have undertook a steep learning curve as we had to get our heads around a the different intricacies that comes with growing Christmas trees. But with our years of experience in horticulture and various qualifications in forestry, crop science and arboriculture we have come to understand the working and requirements to this crop
Christmas trees are proving for one thing to be a hungry plant requiring high levels of nitrogen to maintain their green foliage and steady growth rate of approx. 15cm per year. Unfortunately for our early years we have not come anywhere close to achieving this level of growth but we feel this is due to the heavy amounts of weeds that are growing around our trees to date
In terms of weeding our trees we have sprayed them 3 times each year. But this has not come anywhere close to controlling the weed growth around the plants. This has led to the continuous struggles of weeds out completing our Christmas trees each year
The result is that by June the Christmas trees are once again smothered under a sea of buttercups, dandelions and grass all of which are taking light, water are much needed nutrients from the plants
So, after 3 long years we are going to change our approach to weeding and instead of using a light glyphosate based weed killer, we are going to use a weed killer called hurricane. This weed killer is a residual weed killer that will sit in the soil and prevent any further weed growth over the area for approx. 6 months. This weed killer will not affect Christmas trees and is safe to use on our soil
The result of this is full weed control for half the year with one over the top application. The hope is that the soil will be completely bare except for our lovely trees which are then have all the space, water and food needed to grow to their full potential
But in the meantime – or at least until autumn, while hurricane is safe to apply, we are relying on using traffic cones and glyphosate non selective weed killer  to control all weed growth and keep the weeds down whilst hoping  that none of the spray came into contact with our Christmas trees