The coolest Christmas tree on Route 66

Cuba Missouri The coolest Christmas tree on Route 66

Eli Palmer stands beside the Christmas tree that his dad Chris Palmer built.

I think that I saw the coolest Christmas tree on Route 66 last night. I mean it is freezing cool. It is the creation of Rudd Heating & Cooling owner Chris Palmer and is on the lot next to his business on Route 66 in Cuba, Missouri. We’ve all heard of Frosty the Snowman, but Frosty the Tree?

Later that evening, I saw Chris and asked him about the tree that I had seen on his lot when I had gone by earlier. Chris said that it has been three years in the making. “The first year, I had the vision for the tree and started thinking about how I could build it. Last year I was getting the materials and working on R & D (research & design), and this year, I made it happen.”

Here’s what Chris’s design looked like in his shop.

Chris Palmer Christmas tree design Cuba, Missouri

Copper tubing with freon, a basketball goal stand, and an air conditioner form the basics of Palmer's design. A couple of red and green flood lights were added later. Here, a layer of frost is already starting to set up on the tree frame.

As I stopped back by Chris’s tree tonight to take a photo, his mom and son Eli were there to look at the tree’s progress. ¬†Eli filled me in on a few details. He told me that the center support was a basketball pole and stand that had tipped over in the driveway and crashed into his mom’s car. His dad was going to scrap it, but then he realized that it would be useful for the tree design.

Eli also told me that there was freon in the copper tubing and that there were no holes in the tubing and that natural condensation froze on the tubes and built up the frost layers that formed on the tubing. The air conditioner kept the whole process in motion. He added that the tree could be built smaller or larger and into other designs with the same basic concept. The colored flood lights were added to give a Christmas look to the tree.

Chris’ mom Barb said people have been stopping to look at the tree and take photos. I don’t know that anyone has seen anything quite like this before. People have also told Chris that he needs to enter his tree in the Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas lighting contest. We discussed the fact how a little snow on the ground would make the tree and its frosty appearance stand out even more.

Chris later told me that the outside temperature didn’t make any difference to the design and that it would work in the summer too. When I asked him if he wasn’t cooling the whole outdoors, he admitted that he was and that it had gotten quite cool in his workshop when he was trying out his design.

Here is a photo of the tree during the day:

Chris Palmer's frozen tree during the day

Several days of frost buildup have added to the tree's appearance.

Chris’s dad is a Heating & Cooling man too as was his grandfather, and his son seems to have the knack for the business, so there may be a another generation building trees in the future. But for now, everyone seems to be enjoying Chris’s vision for a unique Christmas decoration.

After all, it’s the coolest tree on Route 66.

"Frosty the Tree" on Route 66 in Cuba, Missouri

Chris's mom and son Eli enjoy the night view of Chris's tree.


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