For the past 30 years or more, a giant Christmas tree glistens on the lawn of the Missouri Governor’s Mansion over the holidays. The annual tradition is one that brings the state together for the holidays by seeking out a property owner’s evergreen nearing the end of its life.
Holly Dentner, with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said the state is searching for a 30 to 40 feet tall tree to spruce up with lights and decorations.
“It’s just always been a really nice tradition,” said Dentner. “The governor’s lawn, you know, is used for lots of things throughout the year, so they don’t have a lot of space to plant a permanent tree – and of course trees aren’t permanent anyway. So, it’s just it’s always been one of those things where we can find a nice big tree that’s probably at the end of its lifespan, it’s grown in someone’s yard, it’s way too big, but it’s just the right size for the mansion lawn.”
For anyone willing to donate an evergreen on their property, the preferred species are eastern red cedar, Norway spruce, or white pine.
“We don’t want to take any healthy nice big tree that’s perfectly happy in its space,” said Dentner. “And unfortunately, a lot of trees, a lot of evergreens in particular, folks plant them decades ago too close to their house not thinking about, you know, 30 years later and it’s going to be way too big for that space and probably blocking windows or overtaking the lawn.”
All entries must be submitted to the Missouri Department of Conservation by October 10. They can be made by sending an email to [email protected], or by mail to: Missouri Department of Conservation, ATTN: Mansion Christmas Tree, PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102. Entries should include a contact telephone number, location of the tree, and several pictures taken from different angles and distances.
The tree will be delivered to the mansion lawn on November 27. The official lighting of the mansion tree will be on December 1.
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