Donna's Trees was founded in 1971 by Ray and Donna Van Hollebeke of Lake Forest Park, Washington. Ray had been laid-off during the big Boeing lay-offs of 1970, and was looking for a way to replace that income.
Ray and Donna grew the business through the 1970's with the help of their nine children, and expanded it to forty retail lots all over the Seattle area. The children continued to work in the business through college and into their twenties. Donna often joked that when she was dating Ray, he promised that if she married him, he would make sure her name would one day be up in lights. Donna would then say, "He never mentioned it would be on plywood in front of a Christmas tree lot!"
Donna's Trees was the first Christmas tree retailer to specialize in selling the finest noble firs in the world, which happen to be grown right here in Washington and Oregon. Today the business is run by Leo and Meghan Van Hollebeke, along with Leo's brother Larry. Larry manages the retail sales lot in Bothell. Leo's children and many of Leo's and Larry's nephews and nieces help out after school and on weekends.
The Van Hollebekes say that the most enjoyable part of the business is seeing many of the same families each year.