Marion’s Homegrown Christmas Tree

A beautiful Christmas tree was planted in Bicentennial Park last Friday. The tree is perfect for the town, because it was grown from a seedling given out many years ago on Arbor Day in Marion.

The newly planted tree replaces one that was damaged during its planting last month.

“We asked three different experts for their opinion on its survival, and were told its chances were slim to none,” said Margie Baldwin of the Tree Committee.

“The cambium layer, which is the veins of the tree that bring nutrients up to the tree was damaged during installation,” said Susannah Davis, a member of the Tree Committee and a landscape architect. “It’s like clamping off your stomach and you can’t get food for nourishment.”

A local tree company offered to donate a Norway Spruce to the town, but the offer was not taken up. “It was a very generous offer, but it would get too big for the park, and we’d have to deal with the height later,” Davis said.

“I was working the Arbor Day seedling giveaway many years ago, and we had some left over, which I gave to my parents on Converse Road,” said Davis, whose parents, Natalie and Raymond, were well loved. “They planted them, and here she is. I look at it as a legacy from my parents to the town.”

The tree is a concolor fir, a type of white fir.

“I wanted to do something and decided that this tree would be great because it is a slow-growing, salt-tolerant, disease-resistant evergreen with soft needles. If a child ran into it at the tree lighting, it is soft to the touch,” Davis explained.

David Mendell, a local certified arborist, was on hand to help with the removal of the prior tree, along with the Marion DPW.

“Tree moving is tricky business and very stressful,” Mendell said. “The planting went picture perfect, and we didn’t encounter many large roots. I feel optimistic about the tree going forward.”

Mendell is employed by a local tree company and offered his help.

“It’s a sad tale with a happy ending, and the new tree will grow and serve as our Christmas tree for years to come,” Baldwin said. “Stop by and see our new tree.”

By Joan Hartnett-Barry

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