HOULTON, Maine — The holiday season officially arrived in downtown Houlton Thursday morning as the town erected its Christmas tree in Market Square.
A massive 25-foot spruce tree was placed in the center of downtown with the help of members of the Houlton Public Works Department and a crew from the Houlton Water Company.
According to Jane Torres, executive director of the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce, the tree was given to the town by Joyce Folsom. It marks the second straight year that Folsom has donated a tree from her property in Ludlow.
“She has a little patch of trees on her property, and this is the second year she has allowed us to come in and cut one of her trees,” Torres said. “The key is, you have to have a tree that doesn’t have any other trees around it. If they are backed up to another tree, there is usually a hole in that side, and we can’t use it.”
The search for just the right tree is always a nervous work in progress, Torres said. After all, a tree that might look perfect in the woods may not always fit that vision once it is cut and brought into town.
Torres said that exact scenario played out a couple of years ago when the tree they selected wound up being a bit smaller than they realized once they placed it.
She lauded the efforts of the public works crew and Houlton Water Company in helping with the tree each year.
“They do such a good job,” she said. “They are so careful, because if the tree falls to the ground [after it is cut], chances are several of the limbs will be damaged.”
The crew attaches a heavy duty rope to a HWC bucket truck so that once the base has been sliced, the tree remains upright until it can be carefully lifted and placed onto a dump truck for delivery.
On Saturday morning, a crew of volunteers will string the lights on the tree. The official tree lighting takes place Saturday, Nov. 24, during the town’s Holiday Light Parade.
This story originally appeared on The County.