Massive Suburban Spruce Picked for City of Chicago's Christmas Tree

Massive Suburban Spruce Picked for City of Chicago's Christmas Tree

Elgin, Illinois resident Donna Atkinson says she was ready to hire a professional tree service to take down the 57-foot Colorado Blue Spruce towering over her front lawn.

Now, she’s glad she didn’t after the tree was selected recently by the city of Chicago as this year’s official city Christmas tree that will stand in Daley Plaza through Jan. 8.

According to reports, the city will travel to Atkinson’s far northwest suburban home this week to remove the tree and transport it to Daley Plaza where it will be lit at the city tree-lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25.

“I’ve had a few quotes (to have it removed), and it was expensive,” Atkinson tells WBBM 780.

RELATED: How much does it cost to hire a tree service?

Atkinson has entered the city’s Christmas tree contest for four years, but has never been a finalist. The city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events says it picked Atkinson’s tree from about 80 entries from throughout the city and suburbs. 

The city begins the annual process of picking its tree in August. After the field of entries is narrowed to just a few finalists, city workers travel to those homes before naming a winner. The winning tree must be:

  • taller than 55 feet
  • located in an area where it can be safely cut down
  • a spruce or fir tree 
  • located within 100 miles of Chicago’s Loop

This is the 101st year the city has lit an official tree. While locations have changed through the years, the tree found its official home at the Chicago Civic Center (now Daley Plaza) in 1966.

The city began its Christmas tree contest in 2009, and each year’s winner is invited to flip the switch that turns on the lights.

Need help with overgrown trees in your yard? Consult our Tree Care and Services Guide.


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