JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — It may be a little early to start thinking about a Christmas tree . . . but not for the staff at the Missouri Governor’s Mansion!

KMZU’s Brian Lock chatted with Holly Dentner, a forestry expert with the Missouri Department of Conservation, who said that starting the search early is essential in finding the perfect tree to add some holiday cheer to Jefferson City’s historic Governor’s Mansion.

Click below to hear their conversation, which aired Thursday on KMZU.


Missouri Governor’s Mansion, Missouri Department of Conservation

“Every year the Department of Conservation helps the Governor’s Mansion find the perfect tree for the lawn,” Dentner explained. “We’re looking for a tree native to Missouri – so an Eastern Red Cedar, a Norway Red Spruce or even a White Pine that is fully branched and beautiful and looks like a Christmas tree.”

Dentner expressed that oftentimes, the best candidates for trees to grace the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion are found in front or back yards across Missouri.

“We look for a tree that is 30-40 feet tall – that is a pretty big tree. We find that the trees that are actually good candidates are the trees that have just overgrown peoples’ yards.”

The search for the tree began in earnest in early September. Last year’s tree was a Norway Spruce donated by Rock and Angela Schaller of Canton, from their yard.

“Historically, we have looked for the mansion tree on behalf of the Governor’s office for the last 20 or so years,” Dentner said. “I’ve been doing it for the past three years and they’ve come from Canton, Independence and Washington – so basically anywhere in the state, we will happily cut down that tree and bring it in.”

There is no cost to the owner of the tree for removal or transportation.

To learn how to enter your tree for selection as this year’s annual Governor’s Mansion Christmas tree, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website.

Submissions are required before October 10. Department of Conservation will review their options and will select a tree in late October-early November.