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Growing Trees

 12200 Empire Grade
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 423-8733 

Growing & Shearing Christmas Trees is a Year-Round Job!

It takes knowledge, care, dedication and skill to produce Christmas trees of the quality you will find here at Crest Ranch. From growing to shearing, the procedures we use have been fine-tuned since 1948 and result in some of the best Christmas trees you'll find anywhere.


New trees are planted in January and February to take advantage of the rain, which will give them a good start; irrigation is now used at Crest Ranch to help sustain & promote growth of our seedlings. The decomposed granite at Crest Ranch is a perfect medium for growing coniferous trees native to the northwest. First, holes 6 inches in diameter are drilled into the soil.

New seedlings are placed into the holes and the soil is compacted around them.

Screens are placed to protect the young tree from direct sunlight. Seedlings are at times planted near dead stumps, which also provide shelter from the sun.

Stump Shearing

With proper care a single stump can generate many Christmas trees over the years.

First, our guests leave the bottom branches on the stump when cutting their tree.

The branches grow towards the sky over the next few months.

A dominant branch or sprout is chosen, and the rest are cut off. This new branch will become the next Christmas tree.


All trees must be shaped by careful shearing, or pruning in order to have the characteristic "Christmas Tree" shape by the selling season. This is the part of the job that requires skill, knowledge and experience.

The "Shearing Machine." It takes skill, strength and precision to properly use this tool.

Shearing takes place at different times of the year, depending on the type of tree. In May, shaping of the pines begins and proceeds into June. In July and August, Douglas firs are shaped. White fir stumps are pruned in September.

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