It takes 5–12 years for a Christmas tree to reach a height of 5–7 feet. The individual growth rate of the tree depends on tree species, soil conditions, and cultivation practices. You can grow your own Christmas trees by purchasing an evergreen seedling from a nursery and planting it in your yard or garden plot. Waiting for your Christmas Tree to grow to the appropriate height from a seedling will require several years of patience.
What is the Fastest Growing Christmas Tree?
As a rule, cypress and cedar trees are the fastest growing Christmas tree varieties. Specifically Leyland Cypress and Eastern Redcedar. Both of these varieties can grow from a seedling to a height of 5–7 feet in 5 years with careful cultivation. These species are best suited for warm regions. The fastest-growing Christmas trees for colder regions are pines, such as White Pine, Virginia Pine, and Scotch Pine. They will reach a mature height in 6 years.
- Eastern Redcedar/Leyland Cypress/Arizona Cypress: Reaches 5–7 feet in 5 years.
- White Pine/Scotch Pine/Sand Pine/Virginia Pine: Reaches 5–7 feet in 6 years.
- Firs and Spruces: Reach 5–7 feet in 10 years.
Fir and spruce trees are among the slowest growing evergreens. Some firs require as long as 12 years before they reach a height of 6 feet. If you are looking to plant a fast-growing Christmas tree, avoid these varieties.
When Should You Plant a Christmas Tree?
Whichever evergreen species you decide on for your Christmas tree, plant in early spring. In regions with freezing winters, plant just after the spring thaw, in March or April. In regions where winter temperatures do not commonly dip below freezing, plant in February or March.
- In regions where winters bring a deep freeze, plant in March or April, just after the spring thaw.
- In regions where a deep freeze is rare, plant in February or March.
- Late spring planting can be successful if the tree is provided with adequate water.
- Water the newly planted tree(s) once per week for 2–3 hours with a soaker hose to prevent it from drying out.
Evergreens thrive in moist conditions, and newly planted trees need adequate water as they establish new roots. Early spring drives fast growth, but make sure the tree receives adequate water. Soak the ground at the base of the tree thoroughly with a soaker hose once per week. This can take 2–3 hours. Continue this for the first 2 months after planting to establish the tree. If you planted your evergreen later in spring, monitor the tree closely for dry needles and increase watering as necessary.
How Do You Make a Christmas Tree Grow Faster?
Evergreen trees typically do not benefit from fertilizer or extensive cultivation. Your future Christmas tree will grow best if it is planted in sandy soil that is moist but not swampy. After planting a seedling, it may go through a period of shock and drop needles. If watered regularly, it will recover. Growth may be very slow in the first year as the tree seedling develops roots, but in following years it will begin to grow taller.
- Plant evergreens in moist, sandy soil for best results.
- Evergreens do not require fertilizer. Fertilizing a stressed evergreen sapling may kill it.
- Expect slow growth in the first year after planting as the tree establishes roots.
- Trim your evergreen to establish a leader early on, to encourage it to grow into an ideal Christmas tree.
To create the perfect tree for your home at Christmastime, make sure to care for your growing tree. Christmas trees need a single “leader,” which is the vertical branch where you will place a tree topper. If your tree begins to develop more than one leader, trim off all but one. It requires patience, but your tree will reach the typical height for a Christmas tree if given time.
How Long Does it Take for a Christmas Tree to Mature?
The rate at which a Christmas tree grows depends on the species of the tree. Leyland Cypress and Eastern Redcedar can grow 3–4 feet in a year in ideal conditions and may be ready for Christmas tree harvesting in as little as 5 years. Pines grow slightly slower, but can reach a height of 7 feet within 6 years. Spruces and firs grow much more slowly, and will not attain an adequate height of 5–7 feet for 10-12 years. Whether you are growing a Christmas tree in your yard or planning to start a Christmas tree farm, consider what species grow natively in your region. Typically, trees adapted to your local environment will perform best.