Christmas Trees

Michigan Christmas Tree Industry Research Priorities 2016


  1. Reducing/eliminating cone production
    • Look at using PGR’s or herbicides to reduce the cost of picking cones.
    • Evaluate other plantation management that may influence early coning.
  2. Weed management
    • Evaluate new herbicides for use in Christmas tree production. Particularly broadleaf herbicides to use after bud break.
    • The effects of long term glyphosate use on tree growth
    • Herbicide programs to use with ground covers
    • Herbicide resistance issues – Stinger, Velpar and Round-up
  3. Improved Genetic
    • Help establish seed orchards
    • Crosses with fir’s – example: Concolor X Fraser
    • CoFirG trials of Turkish fir
    • Develop trials looking at traits for “target” seedling vs just height (example caliper, root shoot ratio)to improve establishment.
  4. Pest Management (insects and diseases)
    • Evaluate new fungicides for use in Christmas tree production
    • Emerging pest issues – Hemlock and balsam woolly adelgid, midges, etc.
    • Sustainable pest management
      • Ways to get off the pesticide treadmill
      • Organic options
  5. Nutrient management
    • Looking at nitrogen management
      • Using N inhibitors
      • Rates and timing to maintain color at harvest
  6. Culture
    • Shearing practices to produce a more open tree
    • Marketing survey and promotion of more open trees (Victorian, European)
  7. Alternative production systems (agro-forestry)

Education programs

  • Economics
  • Soil health
    • cover crops, soil amendments, organic systems, etc.
    • nutrition – soil and foliar tests, micronutrients
  • Trimming/pruning workshop
  • Weed management
  • Bulletins/fact sheets
    • cover crops
    • nutrient management
  • Equipment
  • Consumers – pricing
  • Effects of climate change on industry

Updated December 2016