Advice on Pine Trees (Pine Tree "Farm")

Hi, we're considering buying a few acres of land, and there is a grove that has rows of pine trees (over 600) on the property that a previous owner planted. They refer to it as a tree farm, even though the property has not been used as a tree farm (the current owners are not selling trees, and I don't think they ever have). This is in the midwest.
I would prefer open land to rows of pine trees, so i've been considering a couple options: 1) selling them in November/December as Christmas trees ($20-$30 each), but when people cut them down i'll be left with all the stumps in the ground, 2) selling the whole trees with the root ball, etc. ($40-$50 each?)to landscapers, garden centers, or straight to the public (but i'm not interested in starting a business - much too busy), or 3) trying to find the time to run a tree farm and selling trees myself and planting new ones, etc. - although i'm sure there are countless tree farms already.
I also thought about donating some of them each year to places like schools, etc. to use as Christmas trees, earning myself some tax savings.
I would prefer to do something that would get rid of the trees within 3 years or so for future plans, as this grove is on the front/side of the property and prohibits any future building or driveway there.
What I wanted to ask here is: 1) if anyone has any advice on all of this before we buy, and/or 2) if anyone knows what type of maintenance is involved with pine trees in keeping them healthy, etc. so I don't end up with 600-700 dead or unhealthy trees a year from now.
I'm trying to find out what type of pine trees they are, and I hope the current owners know that, because I think they were planted before they owned the property.
Most of the trees range in height from 6-8 feet. Some are even taller.
Thanks so much,
- D
__ __
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Hi Dish,
If you have access to a digital camera, take a few photos, including close-ups of the needles, and post them to alt.binary.pictures.gardens.
I doubt you want to become involved in ball & burlapping your trees, it's back breaking work and not for the unskilled. Perhaps you could make inquiries at a few wholesale or growing nurseries in your area-- they might be interested in lifting them en masse, or in taking them as they need them for a year or two. Much depends upon what type of trees they are.
Where is your property?
Dave

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On 2 Jan 2004 11:59:56 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Dish) wrote:

If they are really pine trees (posting photos will help identify them) they are not good Christmas tree candidates. Most Christmas trees are firs, balsam or fraser being the most popular.
What is more, if they have been neglected for a few years they will be out of shape and difficult to bring back. People can buy "perfect" Christmas trees today and will not settle for less.
The same goes for landscape trees, no one wants pines and the trees they do want have to be a perfect shape. JMHO
John
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NO ONE wants pines? Tell that to the scores of customers coming into the nursery this season that complained because our pine selection was not large enough (15 species, probably twice that many cultivars). And the 'perfect shape' differs from person to person - some want a very regularly shaped tree, others want a very sculptural tree. Many species of pine never offer a "perfect' shape - they are very irregular in growth habit.What they DO want are healthy trees.
I'd offer them to local landscapers and nurseries on a U-dig basis. Exact identification of species and/or cultivar is essential though, as some conifers (pines or otherwise) are much more desirable than others
pam - gardengal
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hope
before
taller.
For an excellent key to the identification of North American pines, go here:
http://www.nearctica.com/trees/conifer/pinekey/pinek1.htm
Jim Lewis - snipped-for-privacy@nettally.com - Tallahassee, FL - Only to the white man was nature a wilderness -- Luther Standing Bear (Ogallala Sioux Chief)
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