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York City hauls 50-foot tree to Continental Square

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch

In August, York City put out a casting call for the annual Community Christmas Tree. 

The chosen star, a 50-feet blue spruce that formerly sat on Brandywine Lane in Manchester Township, was placed in Continental Square on Tuesday, Nov. 6. 

Tree donor Robin Hildebrand isn't too sad about her loss. She tried submitting the tree last year, but by the time she entered it was too late and another tree had been picked, she said. 

"We used to decorate it for Christmas," she said. "And then it just got too big." 

The York Community Christmas Tree, donated by Robin Hildeband, of York, is placed in Continental Square in York City, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Once decorated, the tree will be lit during the annual Light Up York ceremony to be held in the square amidst a day of family activities on Saturday, Dec. 1. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Hildebrand's tree will wait nearly a month before it brightens the square during the annual Light Up York celebration. 

This year's ceremony will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1. Daylong events will lead up to the lighting at 5 p.m. 

Hildebrand has lived in her home for about 17 years; the tree is likely more than 25 years old, she said.

The blue spruce is about 15 feet taller than last year's pick and is at the maximum height the city will allow, said electric bureau/building maintenance superintendent David Rudolph. 

The city aims to find a tree between 30 and 50 feet, he said. 

City of York employees work to secure the York Community Christmas Tree in Continental Square in York City, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Once decorated, the tree will be lit during the annual Light Up York ceremony to be held in the square amidst a day of family activities on Saturday, Dec. 1. Dawn J. Sagert photo

As far as choosing the perfect tree, it's "not really hard, you just got to know what you're looking for," Rudolph said. 

Once the submissions are in, city officials drive around to take a look at the trees around the county, he said. 

Part of the decision comes down to accessibility, he said. 

"It can't really be in a backyard, unless you're OK with us driving all that equipment into the backyard," he said, noting the trees are usually on the front or sides of a property. 

Kinsley Construction assisted the electrical bureau in cutting down, transporting and placing the tree. 

Residents can follow the progress of Downtown York's tree at @ContSqTreePA on Twitter.