It may only be August, but the Missouri Department of Conservation has launched the annual search for the Governor’s Christmas tree. Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross speak with Program Manager Nick Kuhn:
The tree will grace the Governor’s mansion during the holiday season and, therefore, must meet certain requirements. “We are looking for trees that are 35 to 40 feet tall,” said Kuhn, “Ideally, it will be eastern red cedar, white pine, or a variety that has the classic Christmas tree shape. What we would really like to do is save a tree. People cut trees down for all kinds of reasons including a home expansion or a new driveway. If we can get our hands on one of those trees, we’re saving it from just being chipped up.”
Of course, finding the perfect tree is only the first hurdle in the process. “We will bring a crane to the location so we can carefully lower the tree onto a large truck,” said Kuhn, “It will then be transported to Jefferson City and we will store it for a few days. This is all done the first full week after the Thanksgiving holiday.”
If you believe you have the ideal tree for the Governor, you are encouraged to submit photos and location information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictures should be taken for all angles and at varying distances. Submissions will be accepted through September 30th.
If you have a 40-foot evergreen tree that you would enjoy seeing on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City, the Missouri Department of Conservation would like to talk to you.
Forestry Field Programs Supervisor Nick Kuhn says the Conservation Department is on its annual quest for a tree to adorn the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion during the holiday season. To qualify, candidate trees must be at least 40 feet tall. Only eastern red cedar, Norway spruce, or white pine trees will be considered. Candidate trees must be fully branched on all four sides and accessible by large equipment. Full guidelines are available at mdc.mo.gov/node/23091.
Once a tree is selected, the Conservation Department will coordinate the cutting and delivery of the tree to the Governor’s Mansion at no cost to the owner. The donor will receive a personalized thank-you from the governor and an invitation to the lighting ceremony, which usually occurs the first week of December.
“Trees of this size often are near the end of their lives,” says Kuhn. “It sometimes happens that homeowners, businesses, or communities have wonderful evergreens that need to be removed for home expansion, utility work, or other reasons. Having your tree displayed at the Governor’s Mansion is a wonderful way to share its beauty and make lasting memories for the donor and thousands of Missourians who visit the mansion during the holidays.”
Photos of candidate trees can either be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to Missouri Department of Conservation, attn: Holiday Tree, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102. Be sure to include your telephone number, email address, location of the tree, and several pictures taken from different angles and distances. All entries must be submitted by Sept. 30.
For more information or questions, contact Kuhn at Nick.Kuhn@mdc.mo.gov or 573-522-4115, ext. 3306.