Christmas in May in Marion

There’s no snow on the ground, but there is a Christmas tree.  Marion’s new town Christmas tree arrived and was planted on Friday.  The twenty foot Concolor Fir, from upstate New York has a root ball nine feet by three feet.  The tree is a type of white fir with light colored bark and silver blue-green needles.

Members of the town tree committee, along with the Department of Public Works, used a crane to move the massive tree off a flat bed trailer, over to the hole and into place at its home in Bicentennial Park in Marion.

Passers-by stopped to watch the effort and marvel at the beauty of the tree.  Seeing the commotion, several Town House employees came out to snap photos.

“It’s tradition in France to throw a coin into the hole so the tree will flourish,” said Danielle Francis.  Francis provided coins to several of the onlookers resulting in a total of seventy eight cents under the root ball of the new tree.

DPW employees who helped maneuver it joked that an upstate NY squirrel or bird might fly out out the branches at any moment.              When asked about the age of the tree, Steve Gonsalves of the Marion Tree Committee said it was “a teenager who was moving into town.”  The life span of the tree could be up to one hundred years.

According to Gonsalves, the tree was hand dug and the root ball was drum laced, meaning it was covered with hay, carefully wrapped in burlap and had a wood cap over the base.

The old Christmas tree was a Colorado Blue Spruce which died over time.  The Tree Committee raised the $1400 cost of the new tree, along with the $700 transportation fee to bring it to Marion.

“It’s a nice looking tree and we’ll make sure it is properly cared for,” said Gilly Leonardo, Foreman of the DPW.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry

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