When establishing a new tree lot, selectively leaving hardwoods that offer habitat will drastically improve the biodiversity of the tree lot. Other ecosystem features that may be present in a Christmas tree lot and should be protected include caves, dens, valleys, wetlands, open areas, and wintering sites, ponds, springs, and floodplains. Topographic features provide specialty habitats for wildlife and foster lot resiliency.
A typical site assessment will include, at a minimum, soil sampling, and testing, scouting for weeds, observing the site for environmental value, and identifying the existing plant species. Ideally, the site should also be surveyed to ensure that the lot will be square, or at least have square blocks.
Soil sampling is one of the best investments you can make on your farm and is the only way to gain an in-depth understanding of nutrient cycling in your lot. Soil sampling will help you make informed decisions about what the best fertilizers are for your lot, when and where you should be applying them, and at what rates.