‘Palm Tree King’ brings south Florida to Missouri


ARNOLD, Mo. – It’s palm tree season in Arnold, Missouri near Highway 21 and 141. Trees small and large are going to homes in both St. Louis and Illinois.

“This is our larger range of trees,” David Knoll who partners with Walter Knoll Florist said. “These start between 12 feet and goes up to 30 feet and these are trees that we are putting in people’s homes and residences and around their pools.”

It’s almost impossible to have a frown when a palm frond is around and David Knoll knows palm tree people.

What once began as six palm trees from South Florida, Knoll relocated to St. Louis, encouraging thousands of people to find out how to add palm trees to their piece of paradise.

Knoll is the “Palm Tree King,” having populated Six Flags parks across the nation, thousands of department stores, homes, and businesses.

You may wonder how a palm tree grows outdoors in St. Louis, Missouri?

“We’re going to figure out a way to save that tree year to year so we don’t have the expendable money being tossed out the window, so we store them during the wintertime,” Knoll said. “So, if you buy the tree through me, I’m going to store them for them, for a fee of course, and we’re going to take care of them all winter, and next year you get back your tree and poof, instant paradise.”

Come October, David and his associates at Walter Knoll Landscapes collect the trees and store them in this warehouse.

So, the next time someone says you can’t grow a palm tree in St. Louis, you can tell them you know a guy who’s been making it happen for 30 plus years.

“A palm tree, it sways,” Knoll said. “It moves with the breeze and it’s just relaxing. You know you sit there, and you hear the wind whip through the fronds. You actually sway yourself to sleep underneath the palm fronds.”

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