Sunrise Tree Farm

24048 Maxfield Creek Road
Philomath, OR 97370


About Our Farm:

The farm has been a wonderful place to live and raise our daughters. From the start our philosophy has been to leave the land in better shape than we found it.  When we started farming we saw two problems: erosion and 40 acres of Canada thistle.  We decided to base our farming decisions on the long term benefit to the farm and not just short term consideration.

For erosion control we decided to use ground covers between the tree rows to help hold the soil in place. As we learned more about our soils and farm, it was clear we had no extra soil to lose.

The ground cover decision had consequences.  The newly planted trees were stressed for water, so we began to irrigate the first couple of years trees were planted. The ground covers also gave a place for predator bugs to live, which helped keep the "bad" bugs to a minimum.

Ground covers have cut the need for pesticides by 60 - 70% and help keep the mud off of trees at harvest, but require that we mow the rows each year. Our understanding of the farm has grown and grown, but it is much more complex than we thought when we started. Our decision to use ground covers has been interwoven into many other aspects of the farm.  We are still learning and loving it.

Currently Pat and Betty farm Christmas trees on about 70 acres and timber on 35 acres. They have live in their passive solar house which they built 30 years ago.

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