Daniken Tree Farm began in 1968 when Maurice and Betty Daniken, the founders, talked to the Illinois Conservation Department to find a suitable use for five acres of poor farm ground. The conservation advisor suggested Christmas Trees, commenting that there "might be some easy money in them".
The Danikens planted 500 trees that first year and haven't stopped to look back. Each year they planted a few more new trees until the yearly planting rate reached 5,000 trees per year in 1985. The senior Danikens planted their last trees in the spring of 1995. Their son David and his wife Joey began concurrent plantings in 1994 and have since purchased the business in 2002.
The Daniken family belongs to several professional organizations including The National Christmas Tree Association, Mid-America Christmas Tree Association, and Illinois Christmas Tree Association. Membership in these organizations allows them to exchange ideas with other growers and stay on the cutting edge of Christmas Tree production and marketing. The Danikens both hold bachelors degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Joey has a degree in English and David a degree in business entrepreneurship.
In 1973, Daniken Tree Farm sold its first tree to Lois Kleiner of rural Greenville for $7.00. That first year was a little slow (131 trees the whole year) but business picked up fast in the following years as our reputation for quality and value spread. By the mid 80's, Daniken Tree Farm was selling thousands of trees every year and now repeatedly approaches 5,000 trees per year.