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Does Money Grow on Trees? (Maybe so.)

Whenever I would spend money foolishly as I was growing up, my Grandmother who raised me, would say, "Money doesn't grow on trees you know!" Even at a young age, I knew what she meant. As a father of five children, I am sure I used the same axiom with them.

I knew that money didn't "actually" grow on trees, and yet I believed the principal behind this statement for many years. I did not realize until almost a year ago there was "some truth" in this statement as I began to sell land in addition to residential properties.

I received an out of state call from an individual who just retired at age 55 and was looking for land to grow Christmas trees. He told me about the different types of Christmas trees and the ones he wanted to grow. He proceeded to tell me the type soil (acidity, etc.), he was looking for and the amount of acreage. He told me some people grew as many as 1,500 trees per acre and that it took almost 8 years to grow a mature tree.

He said while there is little or no maintenance in the first 3 to 4 years as the trees were maturing, but later, there was maintenance, especially shaping them. He then told me what he estimated to make per acre, depending upon whether he wanted to sell them wholesale or retail. In addition, he said he could sell wreaths and other Christmas ornaments. This was his “active” retirement program as he was not interested in sitting around and doing nothing. I got to thinking, “Maybe money does grow on trees.” In this case, “Money grows in tree.”

Then there was the 35-year-old guy that wanted to buy acreage that either had existing timber on it or could be cleared to plant some pines. Rather than have money in savings earning 1 to less than 2 percent, he was going to use this investment to pay for the education of his children and/or supplement his retirement. Newly planted pines, he said, would take 20 years to reach maturity. Maybe money does grow in trees. This is a great idea for the person that has time for the trees to mature.

And there was a group of hunters that wanted to do what Mossy Oak and others were doing, i.e., have a hunting resort and charge a fee. They were looking at about 500 to 1000 acres that had existing deer or turkey on it.

There was the little old lady that wanted an acre or two to grow blueberries and grapes and sell them. No retirement for her.

I remember several years ago, we had some timber cut and cleared on our property for cows. I was amazed at what we received for the timber cutting. Again, maybe there is money growing in/on trees. Keep in mind timber values vary from year to year.

I previously wrote some article about using land as a retirement program rather than taking a risk in the stock market. You may want to read these on my blog at . Anyone own any Enron stock?

Investing in land offers many exciting benefits, but like anything else, there are some risks involved. If you are thinking about land as an investment, give us a call at 252-257-4822 and let’s talk or visit our website at .

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