JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is conducting its annual search for a large Christmas tree for use on the governor's mansion lawn in Jefferson City. MDC is asking landowners, homeowners, businesses, and communities that may have possible candidate trees to contact the Department.

To qualify, the donated tree must be about 40 feet tall and be an eastern red cedar, Norway spruce, or white pine that is fully branched on all sides and accessible by large equipment.

The right tree may either be near the end of its life or may need to be removed for other reasons. Once a tree is selected, MDC staff 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 thank-you from the governor and an invitation to the lighting ceremony, which usually occurs the first week of December.

“Sometimes there are beautiful evergreens that need to be removed for home expansion, utility work, or they’ve grown too large for the space,” says MDC Forestry Field Program Supervisor Holly Dentner. “Having your tree displayed at the governor's mansion is a great way to share its beauty with thousands of Missourians who visit the mansion during the holidays.”

Dentner asks people to take photos of candidate trees and email them to holidaytrees@mdc.mo.gov. Be sure to include a contact telephone number, location of the tree, and several pictures taken from different angles and distances. Candidate tree nominations can also be submitted by mail to: Missouri Department of Conservation, ATTN: Mansion Christmas Tree, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

All entries must be submitted by Oct 11. Full guidelines are available at mdc.mo.gov/trees-plants/governors-mansion-christmas-tree-search. For more information, contact the MDC Forestry Division at 573-751-4115, ext. 3110