Our Story

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. In the early 1980’s, two farmers decided they needed something to keep them busy during those cold Iowa winters. While many options were considered, a hobby tree farm was the winning idea, and in the spring of 1984, the first trees were planted. More were planted every spring, and by 1990, a handful were large enough to sell.

That first year was marked by a lot of sitting in the truck waiting for customers. By the winter of 1991, Mike & Nick were selling trees out of a small shed on the property. The tiny space was just big enough to sell trees and attempt to make wreaths. Pretty soon, the cramped and bustling space served as the retail checkout, a wreath making station, and a gift shop. It didn’t take long to realize the business – and the growing families – were exceeding the space, so an addition to the tree barn was added in 1993. The tireless wreath makers now had a whole new area of workshop.

1993: Branigan, Mike, & the Late Connie Hunter; Nick, Abram, Ashlynn, & Alyse Hunter

In 1996, another opportunity arose. The May Schoolhouse near Derby was up for sale, and Nick jumped on the opportunity. It was moved to the property via an enormous flatbed trailer, where it quickly became a piece of home. It has since served as the holiday gift shop, but has also played location to family pictures, engagements, and even wedding ceremonies.

If you ask generations of our patrons what makes Hunter Brothers Tree Farm so great, the answers will all tie back to one thing: FAMILY.

2014: Alyse & Nick Hunter; Laurie & Mike Hunter

What started as a way to entertain a couple farmers during the winter months, has grown into a family endeavor. At any given visit, it is likely you’ll find 4 generations of the Hunter family tagging trees, arranging displays in the school house, shaking out needles, making wreaths, setting out cookies, or just taking a break from the cold.

Our kids have grown up here, and the traditions and hard work have spread to their spouses, children, in-laws, friends, and even our four-legged friends.

ebony Avalon









If you scan the pictures on the walls, you’ll see a glimpse of the thousands of memories we’ve made here. We invite you to bring your family, and make your own family memories and traditions.