The final stage of cultivation, harvesting, is carried out in a number of ways; one of the more popular methods is the pick-your-own tree farm, where customers are allowed to roam the farm, select their tree, and cut it down themselves.
Other farmers cultivate potted trees, with balled roots, which can be replanted after Christmas and used again the following year More trees were grown in plantations after World War II, and by the 1950s farmers were shearing and pruning trees to meet customer demands.
Flat or gently rolling land is preferred to that with steep slopes and inclines, which is prone to erosion and fluctuations in fertility.
Noticeable obstructions, such as rocks, fences or significant underbrush, are also undesirable.
Invasive insect species, such as the pine shoot beetle and the gypsy moth, also threaten Christmas tree crops.
Mammals such as deer, gophers and ground squirrels are also threats to Christmas tree crops, due to the damage they cause to roots and buds.Both woody plants and herbaceous weeds must be controlled prior to planting; this is most often done by application of a chemical herbicide.After the trees are in the ground, work on the crop continues.Christmas tree farms are best located on relatively level land which is free of obstructions.In the past, Christmas tree farmers established their plantations on less desirable agricultural plots or "wastelands of agriculture".If the necessary elements are not available in the local soil, nutritious fertilizers are used.The weather, as with other agricultural endeavors, plays a key outcome in the yield of a Christmas tree farm.The farmer, a wholesaler, sold his final products for about each; after the cost of the trees and other expenses, a profit of –3 per tree.The best-selling species in the North American market are Scots pine, Douglas-fir, noble fir, balsam fir, Fraser fir, Virginia pine, and eastern white pine, although other types of trees are also grown and sold.In North America, Fraser fir, grown in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, has been called the "Cadillac of Christmas Trees" as well as the "most popular and most valuable of Christmas tree species".Many of the conifer species cultivated face infestations and death from such pests as the balsam woolly adelgid, other adelgids and aphids.