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For years people travelled the famous Route 66 to Ted Drewes around the holidays to pick out the perfect Christmas tree.

Recently a unique story was shared on Humans of St. Louis, an online community that shares photographs and stories of St. Louis for St. Louis.

The photograph and caption explained why some trees are tagged as a “Dottie Tree” at the famous frozen custard shop.

“We have what we call a Dottie tree. Dottie is Ted Drewes’ wife. We put a tag on the ones that are the nicest, in the best shape, and the ones we think that Dottie would like. People come here year after year to purchase a Dottie tree. It’s not a balsam fir or a frasier fir, it’s a Dottie tree. That’s been going on for 35 years. It’s special because Ted started his business back in the 60s. He and his father bought some land up in Nova Scotia, Canada, so about 4,000 of these trees are Canadian balsams. Ted used to go to Canada every year for about 40 years, and I’ve been going for 22. Well, back in the 90s, when he was up in Canada cutting the trees one day, he tagged a tree for Dottie to make sure that that tree went in his house for his wife. Instead, they played a trick on him up there, and tagged a dozen trees “Dottie.” And they got a laugh out of it because they knew when they unloaded the truck, Ted would say, ‘That’s Dottie’s tree. Oh, wait. Dottie’s tree is over here.’ It got to be a joke, so when people were watching us unload the trees, they said, ‘Well, if Dottie doesn’t want that, I’ll take it.’ If you ask people who’ve come here for years, they know what a Dottie tree is. It all came out of love for his wife. We’ve created a new species.”

Here are a few examples of what those Dottie trees look like once they have left Ted Drewes:

For more history about Ted Drewes Christmas trees click here. 

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