Even though the mercury sat at 70 degrees, a team of two striking black Percheron draft horses named “Betty” and “Bes” driven by Robert Carter, of 3C Carriage Service from White City, Kansas, delivered the governor’s Christmas tree and wreath last week.
Gov. Sam Brownback wasn’t able to attend this year’s annual tree delivery, so Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer accepted the eight-and-a-half-foot scotch pine on behalf of Cedar Crest, the governor’s mansion. Celia Goering, president of the Kansas Christmas Tree Growers Association, and owner of Pine Lake Christmas Tree Farm in Derby, presented Lt. Gov. Colyer with the tree and handmade wreath.
Dave Bruton, marketing and utilization forester with the Kansas Forest Service at Kansas State University, said that folks underestimate what it takes to plant, grow and harvest trees.
“A lot of people think you can plant a tree and go out and harvest it the next year,” Bruton said. “These Christmas tree growers are putting a lot of effort into it. A tree 6 or 7 feet tall – what a lot of people like for their houses – typically takes eight to nine years (to grow).”
The 9-year-old tree was donated by Jerry and Marlene Eck, owners/operators of Bel Tree Farm, just east of Salina. The festive wreath was donated by Chris Seets, of Chris’ Tree Lodge, in Abilene. This occasion was Seets’ first time constructing a wreath, and for her debut, it will be displayed on the front door of the governor’s mansion.
For more information on the Kansas Christmas Tree Growers Association, visit the website, www.Kctga.com . Chris’ Tree Lodge can be found on Facebook. 3C Carriage Service is a family owned and operated carriage service that provides service most anywhere in Kansas, www.3ccarriageservice.com.