Meet Some Missouri-Grown Christmas Trees

It takes a bit of Christmas magic to grow holiday evergreens in the St. Louis region. The summer weather is just too hot for many of the most popular Christmas tree varieties.

But farmers like Vernon Spaunhorst of Heritage Valley Tree Farm have found a way to make it work. He has been growing cut-your-own Christmas trees on his family farm outside Washington, Missouri, for more than 30 years. In a good season he can sell upwards of two thousand pine, spruce, and fir trees.

In the videos below, Spaunhorst shows us some of his most popular trees, and tells us what it takes to keep these plants growing healthy until they are ready for their holiday debut.


Genus: Pinus

Popular Christmas tree varieties include white pine, scotch pine, and Virginia pine.


Genus: Picea

Popular Christmas tree varieties include blue spruce, white spruce, and Norway spruce.


Genus: Abies

Popular Christmas tree varieties include Fraser fir, balsam fir, and Canaan fir.

A note on Douglas-fir

Despite its name the Douglas-fir is not a fir at all. This popular Christmas tree is from the genus Psedotsuga, meaning “false hemlock.” Douglas-firs are native to the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains, where they can reach heights of more than 250 feet in the wild.

Because of its environmental requirements, Douglas-fir does not grow well at all in the St. Louis region. The Garden uses fresh-cut Douglas-fir trees in our outdoor displays for Garden Glow. The trees are grown in Michigan and purchased through the Kirkwood Farmer’s Market.

Cassidy Moody — Senior Digital Media Specialist

Leave a Reply