Community Christmas tree harvested

A DIGGER DERRICK from East River Electric lifted this year’s community Christmas tree away from the trunk on Monday morning as the first step in the tree’s journey to the corner of SD-34 and Egan Ave. The tree lighting ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 4.

Four preschoolers stood all agog on Monday morning, watching as big trucks and lots of guys wearing fluorescent gear removed a 50-foot tree from the front yard at their daycare provider’s home.

They posed dozens of questions which Kristi Tieman answered while recording the event. This year, finally, she and her husband Jan were donating the evergreen that towered over their ranch-style home located at 1033 N. Lincoln Ave.

The Tiemans considered doing so three years ago and then decided not to. This year, though, they took the step.

“They didn’t have a tree, so we decided to donate it,” she answered simply when asked why they made the decision this year.

The tree was taller than needed for the corner of SD-34 and Egan Ave. N., so city employees took off the lower branches on Friday. On Monday morning, working with employees and trucks from East River Electric Power Cooperative, they smoothly cut the trunk 15 feet from the ground and lifted the tree onto a flatbed trailer.

“It’s pretty easy,” said city employee Chad Patch. “It’s decorating that takes all the time.”

Within 30 minutes after arriving, they were ready to move the tree to its holiday location. The trunk would be removed later in the day, according to Tieman.

Due to cable lines, which are lower than powerlines, the tree would be transported by an indirect route – down 9th Street to US-81 and then back into the center of town via SD-34.

Each year, a tree is donated by an area resident and moved into location by city employees with the assistance of East River Electric. Madison Lawn Care decorates the tree, according to Patch.

The tree lighting ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. Planning for the program is currently under way by this year’s Leadership Madison group.