As dozens of random midafternoon onlookers gaped in amazement, surprise and a kind of quiet thrill, the annual Christmas tree arrived and “planted” at Healdsburg Plaza on Monday, Nov. 14.
City staff, including community services director Mark Themig and parks & open space superintendent Jaime Licea, waited anxiously for the delivery, which was first scheduled for 10am, then delayed until noon. It showed up about 1pm.
Jones Forest Products provided and installed the tree, under the hands-on direction of company owner George Jones. They specialize in “giant live-cut Christmas trees” for communities, businesses and shopping centers nationwide, from 18 feet to more than 100 feet high (depending on availability).
According to its website, Jones “grows tall trees in environmentally responsible ways. A naturally full and symmetrically shape is created by periodic pruning.” They also run a cut-your-own tree farm in Azalea, OR.
Themig provided a cost breakdown of the tree and its installation, which came to a total of $17,900. Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District provided the City and Chamber a grant in the amount of $35,000 for the overall Merry Healdsburg event, which includes the tree.
The official lighting of the tree will take place at the Merry Healdsburg event on Friday, Dec. 2, from 5-8:30pm at the Plaza. The festivities will turn the area into a winter wonderland with carriage rides, live holiday music and more. The event is hosted by the City of Healdsburg Community Services in partnership with the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce.