Each year, the young trees must be shaped or pruned to encourage the tree to branch more quickly, and gradually achieve the full bushy appearance people prefer in their Christmas trees.
During the three to six years it takes to grow into as well-shaped six to eight foot tree, the Christmas tree faces many hazards. Trees can suffer from too little sun, too much or too little rain, destruction by rodents, insects, disease, hail, fire, or by being overgrown by brush, vines or weeds.
Many tree farmers allow customers to choose and cut their own Christmas trees. This has helped renew the tradition of the entire family selecting and cutting the Christmas tree.