Dept. of Conservation seeking holiday tree for Governor’s Mansion
By: Mary Ann OToole Holley
Each year, state conservation officials scour the countryside looking for the perfect tree to anchor the governor’s holiday decoration.
In 2010, a tree that once threatened a power line ended up adorned with thousands of bright lights and decorations after a giant crane maneuvered a 26-foot-tall, 24-foot-wide, 2,400-pound Norwegian pine on the Governor’s Mansion lawn.
A couple living outside Wentzville donated the tree after learning of its incompatibility with the utility lines.
Now, the Department of Conservation has local foresters sending out an all point’s bulletin to find this year’s special holiday tree for outside and inside the Governor’s mansion.
“This is a high-profile assignment, and we always come through,” said Lorri Grueber, the arborist/horticulturalist for the city of Lake Saint Louis.
The request this year is for one 30-foot or taller tree — a hard-to-find tree that that will give its life for the benefit of the hundreds of visitors that tour the Governor’s Mansion each Christmas season.
Trees for consideration must be shaped well on all sides; have thick foliage all around, but some spacing is OK; and it must be at least 30-feet tall. A 50-foot pine with 30-feet of good foliate at the top can be made shorter.
A professional will safely remove the tree with their equipment to carefully lay it on a trailer and transport it.
Local communities that have upcoming projects that remove trees are especially asked to consider a donation. The Department of Conservation recommends looking for rows of trees where one on the end can be removed without disturbing the rest of the row.
Any residents, businesses or communities that think they have a tree that will fill the bill are asked to contact Nick Kuhn at the Missouri Department of Conservation Community Forestry and Communications Department, phone 573-522-4115, ext. 3306.