Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 20

Left: It's a team effort for Deacon, Meredith, DB and Oliver Gutshall as they fell the family tree. Right: Big or small, every tree gets a turn in the
shaker to dislodge any loose needles. Brian Fulk prepares a small pine before its ride home.

by Zach Smith | zsmith@ruralmissouri.coop

I

t's an unseasonably sunny day in early December as
two men roam the hillside near Weston, bow saws
in their hands and serious business on their minds.
Roger Burd sees something and stops in his tracks.
His friend Alex DiDonato does likewise.
" Did you find a TV side? " Alex asks. He casts an
appraising eye to the straightness and fullness of the
Scotch pine before him. " You might have picked it, Paul
Bunyan. "
Alex and Roger are on their annual hunt for the perfect
Christmas tree. For Alex, the visit is a way to support local
business and continue a family tradition 17 years running.
" My mom started that tradition. It wasn't quite like the
Griswolds, but sometimes like that, " he says with a wistful
laugh. He turns his attention back to Roger and the tree.
" That might be it, Rog. Somebody didn't like it, but that
might be it. "
It's a phrase that goes through the mind of every visitor to Fulk's Tree Farm, which over the past 30 years has

20

RURAL MISSOURI | DECEMBER 2020

become part of the fresh-cut tradition for many families in
northwest Missouri.
" It's fun to see the faces that have been here several
times, " owner Dennis Fulk says. " We've been doing it long
enough we've seen people who were kids when they first
came here bring their own kids. "
The Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative member and director doesn't remember ever having an artificial tree for the
holidays. In fact, he was driving his family to a Christmas
tree farm about an hour away from home when he first
thought of the business idea. His own farm, owned by the
family since 1884, was no stranger to row crops, but there
were 25 hilly acres that didn't lend themselves to corn or
soybeans. The drainage, however, made them perfect for
naturally growing pine trees. The Fulks planted their first
trees in 1987 when Dennis' son, Brian, was 10 years old.
They sold their first trees in 1992 and never looked back.
The breathtaking view and convenient location combined to draw crowds from Kansas City north to St. Joseph
and Atchison County and from across the river in Leavenworth, Kansas. Business grew steadily, and over the last



Rural Missouri - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - December 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 9
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 10
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 11
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 12
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 13
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 14
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 15
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 16
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 17
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 18
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 19
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 20
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 21
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 22
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 23
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 24
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 25
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 26
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 27
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 28
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 29
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 30
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 31
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 32
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 33
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 34
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 35
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 36
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 37
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 38
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 39
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 40
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 41
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 42
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 43
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 44
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 45
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 46
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 47
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 48
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 49
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 50
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover4
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