Ready, set, GROW! Christmas tree plantation establishment

Registration is now open for the 2023 Christmas tree winter webinar series.

New Christmas tree plantings.
Photo 1. Establishment of new Christmas tree plantation. Photo by Bert Cregg, MSU.

Registration is now open for the Michigan State University Extension 2023 Christmas tree winter webinar series, “Ready, Set, GROW! Christmas Tree Plantation Establishment”. Plantation establishment (Photo 1) is one of the most crucial steps for a successful Christmas tree operation. Recently planted seedlings are vulnerable to a host of potential problems that can result in high rates of tree mortality. Challenges in tree survivability and growth can increase the length of time from planting to harvest.

Christmas tree experts from across the country will discuss site and species selection, insect and disease management, nursery production systems and soil fertility. Listed below is a summary of speakers schedule and outline of presentation.

Feb. 2: Location, Location, Location: Matching tree species to site location

Jesse Randall, U.P. Forestry Innovation Center Director, Outreach Academic Specialist Michigan State University. 

What makes for an ideal Christmas tree site and what steps can be taken to mitigate potential problems? Randall will discuss site selection, tree species, and matching tree species to location. Matching plant species to the site can greatly increase tree survivability.

Feb. 9: Root rots, grubs, and aphids - Oh my! Insect and disease control during plantation establishment.

Richard Cowles, Agricultural Scientist of The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

Cowles will discuss insects and diseases that are common problems in young Christmas tree plantations. He then will outline the necessary management practices to manage these pests.

Feb. 16: Where do Christmas tree seedlings come from?

Chal Landgren, Oregon State University christmas tree specialist

Christmas tree plantations start with young tree seedlings often grown by a seedling nursery. Landgren will provide an overview of nursery production and the differences in planting stocks. He will also cover planting techniques to increase survivability.

Feb. 23: You’re adding what? Best practices to improve tree establishment at planting and beyond.

Bert Cregg, Michigan State University professor in Departments of Horticulture and Forestry

Growers are constantly seeking the ‘secret sauce’ to improve tree establishment and enhance tree growth. Cregg will discuss the basics of managing trees immediately after planting along with the potential utility of biostimulants, polymer gels, biochar and other additives on tree survival and growth.

The webinars will be held weekly on Thursdays from Feb. 2 -23 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. There is no cost for registration. Recordings of presentations will be made available to those that register for the series. Pesticide credits have been requested, but those wishing to receive those credits will need to view the webinars live.

Did you find this article useful?