Company’s palm trees brings bit of tropics to fair

An exhibit just south of the Commercial I building at the North Dakota State Fair has a tropical paradise look to it with its life-sized palm trees.

Tracy Brooks, of Designer Palms in Andover, Kan., a suburb of Wichita, Kan., said this is the first time the company has exhibited its product at the fair and in this area.

He said the company decided to come to the fair in Minot after a local resident who was in Arizona told them the area has a booming economy and would be a good market area.

Brooks, standing underneath one of the life-sized palm trees, this one with a table, said he’s had interest in the palm trees and made sales this week at the fair.

Brooks said Designer Palms got started in 2001 when Wendell Turner, the patriarch of the family and the company, wanted to give his wife, Helen, a special gift for their 30th wedding anniversary. Since they lived in Kansas, he decided to build palm trees out of metal for her.

People saw the palm trees and were interested in them. Soon the family business was off and running. The palm trees are made at Andover.

The palm trees range from 7 to 24 feet. A large group would include 9-foot, 12-foot and 14-foot palm trees. There are also medium and small groupings of palm trees available.

The palm trees can be wired for lighting with coconut lights. There’s also coconut speakers.

The company has come up with different ideas for the palms, including a shower palm and a hammock palm. The palms are custom designed for the customer’s specific requests.

Brooks said the Designer Palms can withstand strong winds of 90 mph, although they have been in 110 mph hurricane winds.