The Truth About What Happens To Boise’s Grove Plaza Tree After Christmas
How much do you know about the Grove Plaza Christmas Tree? I read an article about the life of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York. I was inspired to learn as much as possible 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 Downtown Boise Association's Executive Director, who explained how it works.
Each year, members of the Boise community email the city to nominate their tree as 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 will already be removed from its current location. This may be because its roots threaten the foundation of a house, a power line, or several other reasons.
Community Forestry, a branch (pun intended) of the Boise Parks and Recreation Department, chooses the tree from the community nominations each year in late October or early November. 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 35-foot-tall Colorado Blue Spruce. It was donated by Stuart Robinson, who said in a press release that his family moved into a southeast Boise home in 1954, and he planted the tree in their front yard 24 years ago.
Once the tree is set up, hundreds of gift tags are placed on the garland surrounding it, 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 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 sold to the public.