PQT Company is located in Oak Grove, Minnesota, a northern
suburb of Minneapolis. We are committed to producing the finest
quality trees, wreaths and other retailer items, with the ability
to deliver nationwide, as well as Canada.
In 1964, Will Almendinger started retailing trees at one location
in the Twin Cities to support his way through college. The retail
lot (located in Robbinsdale) was named “Willy's Wonderland” and
initially sold cultured scotch pine, norway pine and wild balsam
that he would cut in northern Minnesota.
Throughout the late 60’s and early 70’s, “Willy’s
expanded to multiple lots across the northern metropolitan area.
To assist with the retail operation, Will went into partnership
with his brother, Russ Almendinger, and brother-in-law, Charles
Edling. “Willy’s Wonderland” was
now a family affair.
They decided to change the name of the retail lot operation to
“Premium Quality Trees.”
They used this name until a cold December night in 1973 when an
elderly lady, wanting to pay for a $10 scotch pine with a frozen
pen, asked if she could make the check out to PQT. From that day
forward, we would be known as PQT Company.
The brothers decided to incorporate the PQT Company and plant their
first plantation in 1974. The plantation consisted of scotch, norway,
white pine, and balsam fir. It was their intention to grow enough
trees to supply the retail lots. A second plantation was purchased
and planted the next year.
As the trees grew, they found themselves in a dilemma many farmers
have – they had more trees ready for market than they could sell
at the retail lots. Will and Russ Almendinger set out to cultivate
new wholesale accounts. They called on nurseries and independent
retailers in the midwest to sell their excess trees. They also
worked at establishing new retailers for fundraising events for
charities, churches, Boy Scouts and other organizations. The brothers
were able use their many years of retailing experience to help
new customers display the trees and manage a profitable
Christmas tree lot.
As the wholesale portion of the company started to grow, PQT
Company moved into the lower level of Charles Edling’s house
in 1987. Though cramped, the growing PQT
Company would use his 5 acre lot and rent the adjoining 10 acres
as their distribution center for the next 9 years, shipping trees
all across the United States, Mexico and Canada.
As the company continued to grow, it was apparent that we needed
more room. In 1996, the PQT Company built an office and warehouse
on our 235-acre farm on the Rum River. Over the past decade both
Charles Edling and Russ Almendinger have retired, leaving Will
to carry on the tradition of quality and service that was instituted
in the early years of the PQT Company.
Today, after many successful years of shipping quality Christmas
trees to customers, our goal is to be a
stop shop” for retailers. We acquired the Superior Christmas
Tree Stand Company in the late 1980s and have added a full line
of wreaths, garland and spruce tops. We’ve also added balers, netting,
bags and tags.
PQT currently has over 1200 acres of quality trees
in production. As always, our mainstays are balsam, fraser fir,
scotch and white pine, however, we’ve also expanded into exotics
such as Canaan fir, Korean fir, Meyeri spruce, fir crosses and
You will still find our retail tree lots with their signature
“little red sheds” scattered throughout the metropolitan area.
These retail lots help us to keep a pulse on consumer trends in
an ever-changing industry.
Quality and service have been the core principals on which PQT
Company was founded. We take great pride in what we do and the
quality of products we ship. We understand that our goal is
to help make our customers profitable, but more importantly, we
understand that every tree we ship will become a part of one family’s
Christmas tradition. And for that reason, we focus on premium quality,
just like our name implies.
Once again, we at PQT Company hope that you find this website
informative and helpful and would like to thank you for promoting
the Real Tree industry. We look forward to assisting you in the
coming year and wish you the best in the coming season.
--Will “Willy” Almendinger