Growing Christmas Trees

At The Rocks, we've been growing Christmas trees for over 35 years as part of our land conservation and management efforts. The 1,400-acre estate was given to the Forest Society in 1978 by Martha Batchelder and John Lee, two of the grandchildren of John and Frances Glessner. In making the gift, Batchelder and Lee asked that the Forest Society always maintain a crop in the field, and for more than three decades, that crop has been Christmas trees.

Planting Christmas Trees

It takes several years to raise a Christmas tree ready for holiday trimming. We plant seedlings when they are 4 or 5 years old, and tend them for the next 6 to 9 years before they are harvested.

Watch Planting Day 2022 in Review

40 volunteers planted over 4,000 Christmas tree seedlings, mostly Canaan fir trees!

Pruning Christmas Trees

Each of our more than 40,000 trees is hand-pruned each summer for optimal shaping.

Harvesting Christmas Trees

Helping to measure Christmas trees at the Rocks in Bethlehem, New Hampshire

Come Christmastime, the trees are harvested which we sell at The Rocks and to wholesale and cut-your-own customers. In growing Christmas trees, The Rocks and the Forest Society are helping to preserve open space, provide wildlife habitat, create local jobs, and help countless people get into the holiday spirit each year!

Rocks Director Nigel Manley stands in the middle of a row of trees.

Rocks Director Nigel Manley marks growing Christmas trees with flagging tape.

Two woman mark growing Christmas trees in the middle of an evergreen row.

Staff members spend the summer hard at work getting trees ready for harvest.

A woman crouches below a spruce tree to trim it.

Working summers at The Rocks include shearing and trimming the trees.

A woman on a tractor mows a field.

The Rocks is a working Christmas tree farm, which requires extensive upkeep to manage.