BY MIKE McCARTHY | MIRROR EDITOR — A freshly cut and perfectly symmetrical Maumee Christmas Tree made a grand entrance to uptown Maumee last Friday morning, receiving an official Maumee police escort from its former home in Monclova to its new home at the corner of Conant and East Wayne streets, where it was promptly hoisted into the air, trimmed and lowered into a 4-foot hole, awaiting future festive assignments.
At the site, the 25-foot blue spruce was carefully maneuvered into place by workers from T&J Excavating and Tree Clearing who lifted it high into the air by cable and then lopped off 4 feet of lower branches with a chainsaw to accommodate the trunk’s placement into a pre-dug hole.
Once in place, workers continued to secure the tree with cables, making sure it was upright and stable. Tom Anderson, owner of the company, then grabbed one end of a tape measure and tossed the other end up to employee Gray Rost, suspended by a cable harness near the top of the tree, to record the tree’s official new height at 21 feet.
With that, Maumee’s official Christmas tree was ready for some holiday fun. The beautiful blue spruce will be the focal point of a tree-lighting ceremony following the Maumee Holiday Light Parade on Sunday, November 28. Community members are encouraged to participate in the tree-lighting festivities, which will be highlighted by the singing of Christmas carols.
All of this was made possible through the generosity of Jim and Peggy Sullivan of Monclova Township, who donated the tree to the city of Maumee. The couple had decided to remove the blue spruce from their yard at their Monclova Township home because it had grown too large over the years and was getting too close to their house for comfort.
Rather than just cut it down, the couple decided to donate the tree, but weren’t sure how to go about getting the tree to a place where it would be most appreciated.
“We wanted to donate it because it was such a pretty tree,’’ said Mrs. Sullivan. “If we couldn’t use it, we wanted someone else to enjoy it for the holidays.”
After some thought, the couple decided to call Maumee city administrator Patrick Burtch to see if the city of Maumee would be interested in the tree. In a case of serendipitous coincidence, Maumee Mayor Richard Carr had just mentioned earlier that day that he was hoping to obtain a community Christmas tree, but he wasn’t sure how the city should best approach the task.
“It was an amazing coincidence that the call from the Sullivans came just a few hours after Rich and I had been discussing this very matter,” Burtch said.
The tree arrives in Maumee in the true spirit of the season, a thoughtful gift from a local retired couple, delivered and installed free of charge by T&J Excavating with the blessing of Marc Monnette, who owns the property where the tree will be decorated and celebrated one last time.