Tree Grower

What do they do? Raise high-quality trees for wholesale and retail.

Description: The market for trees is highly competitive. Selling trees is an investment, because from seedling stage, it takes years—sometimes seven or eight—before you have a mature, saleable tree. Lots of pruning, shaping, and nurturing is needed, and one missed pruning or improper watering could result in an unmarketable tree and a big financial loss. Tree growers usually sell in volume and by contractual agreement. For example, you can order trees a season in advance. That way, your order is grown especially for you. Usually trees are bought in bundles of 100 or 500. Selling trees with contracts ensures the grower that he or she will not be stuck with tons of extra trees that won’t sell.

Education: No degree is required to become a wholesale tree grower, but it is necessary to be knowledgeable in the crops you are producing and to have excellent people and business skills. Acquiring the land is also expensive, and it can take five to ten years to yield a profit.

Salary: Tree growers are typically owner/operators, and profits vary from very little to six figures.