Highland News Leader

Daniken Tree Farm has reserve champion Christmas tree at state fair

David Daniken stands beside the 2015 Illinois State Fair reserve champion Christmas tree from Daniken Tree Farm.
David Daniken stands beside the 2015 Illinois State Fair reserve champion Christmas tree from Daniken Tree Farm. Courtesy photo

The Christmas trees from Daniken Tree Farm continued their winning tradition recently by receiving multiple awards at the Illinois State Fair. Trees entered by the local farm received first-place blue ribbons in the scotch pine, white pine, and spruce categories.

The spruce winner was then judged reserve champion of the contest. The 7-foot-tall white spruce was planted in 2008.

These wins come just weeks after their entry in the National Christmas Tree contest finished second in the nation for scotch pine.

“Most folks don’t realize the amount of manual labor that goes into growing Christmas Trees,” said David Daniken.

“We do our fair share as the owners, plus our family pitches in, but the majority of the hands that touch each tree during its growth from seedling to maturity are local young people working part time.” Joey Daniken said. “We’re very proud of the quality of our trees, and that is due to the dedication that all of our employees put into each tree. It is always a team victory for the farm when we do well at a competition.”

Located five miles west of Greenville, Daniken Tree Farm hires about 30 part-time workers each year and estimates that each tree is nurtured by roughly 100 different people during its seven to ten year growth at the farm.

The reserve champion award qualifies the local farm for the next National Christmas Tree Contest, to be held in 2017. The top finishers of that contest present Christmas trees to the White House.

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