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

  1. Economics
  2. Soil health
    • cover crops, soil amendments, organic systems, etc.
    • nutrition – soil and foliar tests, micronutrients
  3. Trimming/pruning workshop
  4. Weed management
  5. Bulletins/fact sheets

    • cover crops
    • nutrient management
  6. Equipment
  7. Consumers – pricing
  8. Effects of climate change on industry

Updated December 2016

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