What Happens To The Grove Plaza Tree After Christmas?
How much do you know about the Grove Plaza Christmas Tree? After reading an article about the life of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center in New York on Untapped New York, I was inspired to find out as much as I could about Boise's official Christmas Tree that sits downtown. The Rockefeller Center tree's wood is used to build houses for Habitat for Humanity. Each board has a picture of the tree and the year it was displayed. Unfortunately, the Grove Plaza tree's afterlife isn't quite as impressive. However, it does provide help for those in need.
I spoke with Jennifer Hensley, the Executive Director of the Downtown Boise Association, who explained to me how it works.
Each year, members of the Boise community email the city to nominate their tree to be the official City of Boise Christmas Tree. To be considered, the tree has to be of impressive size, and it has to be a tree that is already going to be removed from its current location. This may be because its roots threaten the foundation of a house or a power line or several other reasons.
In late October or early November, Community Forestry, a branch (pun intended) of the Boise Parks and Recreation Department, chooses the tree from the community nominations. They remove the tree from its original location and set it up at Grove Plaza.
Parks and Recreation and Community Forestry decorate the tree with over 5,000 lights in time for the lighting, which happens on the night after Thanksgiving.
This year's tree is a cedar. It is nearly 45 feet tall, 15-20 feet around, and weighs over 4,000 pounds.
It was donated by Carol Guthman, who said in a press release that she appreciates being able to share "joy with Boise this year."
Once the tree is set up, hundreds of gift tags are placed on the garland that surrounds the tree, making it the Women and Children's Alliance Giving Tree. Those tags list specific items needed for the shelter or its clients. The tree provides many of WCA's needs throughout the Holiday season.
Even though the Christmas lights are displayed throughout downtown until the end of January, The City of Boise's Holiday Tree is only up until January 10th.
So what happens after the tree is taken down? Just like the natural Christmas tree in your house, the tree in Grove Plaza is chipped.
The mulch from the tree is then sold to the public, and the revenue is used to cover the cost of producing the mulch.