Thinking About Starting a Tree Growing Business? 10 Species to Consider

Growing Trees for Profit - These Are the Best to Grow

When you think about growing trees for profit, you probably picture huge forests full of trees being harvested for lumber. But in fact, the USDA’s economic research has found that growing smaller, nursery trees is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. agriculture market.

Growing Trees for Profit is a Great Small Business

This is great news for small businesses. Nursery trees, like those used in landscaping or as decorative features for homeowners, require much less space and expensive equipment to grow. This makes it more possible to get started and easier to turn a profit in a short period of time.

Best Species when Growing Trees for Profit

If you’re interested in breaking into the tree growing business, here are some of the most popular types, including nursery trees and others, that you might consider.


Dogwood is a type of flowering tree that is popular for homeowners. In the early stages, you can grow it in a pot, then it can grow larger when transplanted in the ground. It’s able to grow in climates throughout North America, and is fairly hearty.

Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple is another tree that is popular in home landscaping projects. You can sell these directly to homeowners in pots or work with local landscaping companies. They don’t get especially large, so you can theoretically grow a lot of them in a small space.

Bonsai Trees

Bonsai trees are small, potted trees that are popular in Japanese culture, but have made their way to a global audience as well. They’re popular decorative features for home and office interiors. And you can sell them at a decent price without the need for a ton of growing space. This makes it an especially attractive option for city dwellers or those with limited area.


Elm trees grow to be fairly large, but they’re popular because they provide a ton of shade to neighborhood. You can grow them in large pots to get started, then sell them to homeowners once they’re ready to transplant. These require a bit more outdoor area. But you can also sell them at a higher price than many smaller landscaping trees.

Almond Trees

If you want to grow trees and actually keep tending to them for years, you might consider growing trees that produce a crop. Almonds are very popular right now. You can sell them to customers at farmers’ markets or to food producers who make products like almond milk or almond flour.

Avocado Trees

Avocados are also very in demand right now. You need to be in a southern state like Florida, California or Texas to really make these trees thrive. But if you can offer locally grown avocados to consumers at local markets, you can charge a premium for fresh produce.


Willow trees produce shoots that are fairly flexible. This makes them perfect for basket weaving and other types of handcrafted goods. Even a single willow tree can continuously produce enough shoots to help you turn a profit. So whether you have a ton of room or just a small space for one tree, you can turn your willow growing into a business.

Shrub Trees

For those who don’t have a ton of room to work with, shrub trees like arborvitae could be a perfect option. These trees are popular in landscaping projects, and homeowners often purchase many of them for privacy and/or aesthetics around their property. You can even grow a steady stream of them to supply local landscapers.

Flowering Cherry

Flowering cherry trees are popular in neighborhoods throughout the country. They produce colorful flowers and small fruit that are popular with birds. You can sell them to homeowners or landscapers early in the growing process while they’re still in pots so they can be transplanted into the ground.

Christmas Trees

This one requires a bit more space. But if you have a fair amount of land, you can start growing evergreen trees in rows to eventually sell as Christmas trees. You’ll need to continuously plant new ones to keep your supply going year after year. But these trees require very little maintenance and only require you to staff a business for a couple months out of the year.


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.