Cheshire tree set to shine on New Haven Green

CHESHIRE — A little piece of town will be displayed on the New Haven Green starting today. 

A  Norway Spruce, until recently in resident Tracy Strickland’s front yard,  was chosen as the Green’s holiday tree. It will be lit up during New Haven’s tree lighting ceremony. 

“The owner of Cheshire Nursery was driving around my neighborhood doing deliveries in the area and he must’ve seen it,” Strickland said. “Next thing I know I had a knock on the door asking if I would be interested in donating my tree.”

This is the second year in a row a Cheshire tree has been chosen for the New Haven Green’s holiday showcase, although last year's tree had a short tenure as the center of attention after strong wind gusts toppled the 65-foot-giant Norway Spruce, severely damaging the trunk and rendering it unusable shortly after it was erected. Last year’s tree came from the Gangi house on Budding Ridge Road. 

Now, Cheshire gets the chance to try again, with yet another Norway Spruce. 

“The tree has been here ever since I moved in in 2005,” Strickland said. “It was much smaller then. It's a beautiful tree. I would have kept it if it wasn’t so in the way.”

The tree had begun to take up most of Strickland’s driveway and front yard, making it difficult to navigate around, she explained.

“The cool thing is that I work in New Haven, so I’ll get to see it,” Strickland said. “It's like a little piece of home following me around.”

Just like last year at the Gangi residence, a team of people arrived at the Strickland home in late October to begin the arduous process of tying up all the branches for transport.

“It’s a really complicated and complex job,” Strickland said. “They have to tie up all the inner branches first, and then the outer ones, all to make sure nothing bursts or sticks out while they drive it down.”

Then to cut the tree, a team of workers tie a large metal palate to the tree and cut from the very bottom, ensuring all the branches are intact.

“They tie this huge metal piece to it and then when they cut it all they have to do is lower the metal piece onto the truck and drive it away,” she explained. “It's really a cool thing to watch.”

Strickland is excited to attend the tree lighting ceremony, which will happen tonight at 7 pm. on the Green.

“My son and I are going to go down and watch them light it up,” she said. “We hope a lot of people from Cheshire will come down and see it, or at least stop by, we’re really excited about it.”

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