Archive for Monday, November 15, 2004

Governor’s Christmas tree from Lawrence

November 15, 2004

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— The official Christmas tree for the governor's mansion has its roots in Lawrence.

The eight-foot tall Scotch Pine that will arrive at Cedar Crest on Tuesday was grown at Prairie Elf Christmas Trees, 765 E. 750 Road.

"I hope the arrival of this beautiful tree at Cedar Crest will inspire other Kansans to make a Kansas-grown tree part of their holidays," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said. "It's an opportunity to buy a good fresh product, while supporting our Kansas growers."

Kathy Heeb, owner of Prairie Elf Christmas Trees, said she was thrilled to provide a tree to Sebelius and her family. "It is truly an honor," Heeb said.

The stand to hold the tree was made at Cedar Valley Treeholders in Louisburg.

Officials used the Kansas products to make a pitch for Kansas trees and other homegrown Christmas items.

"It's never too late to create a family tradition. You can take your family out to the nearest Christmas tree farm, stroll through the tree plantation, and select and cut the perfect tree for the holidays," said Phil Wegman, president of the Kansas Christmas Tree Growers Association. "Our Kansas Christmas trees are the freshest you can get, and a freshly cut locally grown Christmas tree will easily last from mid-November all the way through the holiday season if it's properly cared for," he added.

There are approximately 100 Christmas tree growers in the state, many of whom are expanding their services to provide family outings that include hay rides, light displays, hot apple cider and visits from Santa.

"Christmas tree farms and the activities that go with them are a good example of agritourism," Sebelius said.

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