Meier Horse Shoe Pines tree farm makes picking the perfect Christams tree a fun family outing

Thursday, December 4, 2008
Karen Barlow and her son Kirk, 14, peruse trees at Meier Horse Shoe Pines tree farm Friday, November 28, 2008, in Jackson. Over 800 trees were tagged to be cut this year.

Picking out a Christmas tree should be an event, not a chore.

Meier Horse Shoe Pines has 800 trees on a farm just north of Jackson. A horse and carriage takes visitors out to pick a tree, and they can buy ornaments and enjoy a spicy cup of hot apple cider afterward.

"The trees are fresh and the atmosphere is festive," Donna Livingston said.

Livingston and her grandchildren and daughter-in-law, who live in Burfordville, have come to Jackson to visit Meier Horse Shoe Pines for 15, maybe 20 years, she said.

"Picking out the tree and riding on the wagon are the best," said Donna's granddaughter, Jordan Livingston.

Belgian hitch teams take visitors on rides through Meier Horse Shoe Pines tree farm Friday, November 28, 2008, in Jackson.

Bill and Duke pull the long red wagon of tree hunters through dozens of rows of trees to find the perfect one. The two Belgian horses have been at it a long time. Duke, in his 18th year, has been around for almost the entire time. Children who find his lost horseshoes get to choose a free ornament from the gift shop.

With live trees, sometimes buyers find more than just branches and needles. Kevin and Rita Cracraft of Cape Girardeau found a bird's nest in their Scotch pine tree. That was the deciding factor in picking out a tree.

"Their trees last until Christmas, and we know [owners] Steve and Teresa; they're good people," Rita Cracraft said.

Teresa Meier, who co-owns the farm with Steve Meier, said the new wreath room at Meier Horse Shoe Pines allows them to work ahead, having more wreaths available for purchase. Twenty years in the business has taught them to be prepared.

People were already lined up for wagon rides to the fields at opening time Friday. Pre-cut trees are available and Santa welcomes children — and adults — for pictures.

Kevin Walker, right, sizes up a tree as his son Adam, 16, watches along with family friend Anna Schnell, left, a foreign exchange student from Germany, Friday, November 28, 2008, at Meier Horse Shoe Pines tree farm in Jackson. The Walkers, of Patton, brought Schnell along because picking out live trees is a similar tradition in Germany.

The Meier tree farm also hosts the Trees for Troops program, which provides soldiers and their families with live trees.

Meier Horse Shoe Pines will contribute eight trees — which will be picked up by FedEx on Tuesday — and brought to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for deliveries to soldiers and their families.

White pine, Scotch pine and Fraser fir trees from itty bitty to 8 feet tall are available at Meier Horse Shoe Pines until they run out.

The farm is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays; 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday until Dec. 21. Meier Horse Shoe Pines is at 2146 County Road 330, Jackson (off Route PP). Visit for more information or call 243-5501.

Kristyna Meier decorates wreaths for eventual sale at Meier Horse Shoe Pines tree farm Friday, November 28, 2008, in Jackson.
Trees are scavenged to make greenery at Meier Horse Shoe Pines tree farm in Jackson.
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: