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December 2, 2023

A Tale of Two Trees

Back in the ‘Burg. Here’s the Plaza’s beautifully decorated tree. And here’s another digital tree, beautiful in its simplicity at Healdsburg Community Church. 

The Plaza’s tree is 43 feet tall and hails from Oregon. The sign next to the tree tells its story. Left in the forest as a 10-year-old sapling unworthy of being cut, it found itself basking in sunlight and growing quickly. The forester also found it and decided to trim it to become “Our Tree,” as the sign says. 

“Our Tree” is a white fir (Abies concolor) cut at about 30 years old. It has 4,000 lights and 500 ornaments. Surrounded by “big box” presents, with a backdrop of green lights, it attracts strollers bundled up during chilly winter evenings. 

The rain from earlier in the day creates natural ornamentation on adjacent trees with twinkling droplets. Winter tones down nature’s beauty, but holiday lights step in, and people happily gather in the Plaza, no matter wind or weather.  

Fun facts:  Last week highlighted another tree, that of New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Each tree from Rockefeller Center is donated to Habitat for Humanity yearly. Cut into 2x4s and 2x6s, they are repurposed to build homes for those less financially able. Habitat for Humanity’s headquarters in Atlanta obtains a board from each tree, which gets built into a memorial wall emblazoned with an imprint of the year that it was NYC’s Christmas tree.

Trees from Rockefeller Center originated and built homes for Habitat for Humanity in the following places, respectively: 2009 Easton, CT and Stamford, CT; 2010 Mahopac, NY and Newburgh, NY; 2011 Mifflinville, PA and Philadelphia; 2012 Flanders, NJ and Madison, NJ; 2013 Shelton, CT and Bridgeport, CT; 2014 Hemlock, PA and Philadelphia; 2015 Gardiner, NY and Newburgh, NY; 2016 Oneonta, NY and Newburgh, NY; 2017 State College, PA and Newburgh, NY; 2018 Wallkill, NY and Newburgh, NY; 2019 Florida, NY and Newburgh, NY; 2020 Oneonta, NY and Los Angeles. 

Let’s hope “Our Tree” is similarly re-used for good purpose, not just in decorating the Plaza. Also, nice to see digital trees coming into greater use, hat tip to Healdsburg Community Church.


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