New Christmas Tree

Denny Harger/Roundup
A Colorado blue spruce is lifted into its position at Green Valley Park last week replacing another similar tree which died.

Denny Harger/Roundup A Colorado blue spruce is lifted into its position at Green Valley Park last week replacing another similar tree which died. |

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A gift plus a crane plus a big hole equal a new town Christmas tree.

After Payson’s first pick for a tree died after the roots suffocated, it looked like the recession-plagued town would have to skip the tree thing this year — but the a local nursery came to the rescue.

So a Colorado blue spruce became Payson’s official Christmas tree, complements of Glen McCombs, owner of Plant Fair Nursery. Not quite as big as the White House’s tree cut from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest this year, Payson’s 20-foot tree arrived at Green Valley Park last week on a flatbed trailer.

Then Milam Crane Inc. strapped onto the tree and set it into the hole next to Zane Grey’s cabin.

Workers set it into a huge hole atop four feet of crushed granite and a drainpipe running 100 feet to the lake, to spare the evergreen recruit from the fate of its predecessor.

“Times are tough for everyone, but Glen stepped up huge after our last tree died from anaerobic roots,” says Nelson Beck, parks supervisor.

“We have to keep water from pooling around the roots,” Beck explains.

“Roots need oxygen that they can’t get if they are in a pool. It’s called anaerobic roots.”

McCombs came to Payson in 1983 and started Plant Fair Nursery. “Granite has a lot of nutrients,” he says.

Beck says, “The parks crew will decorate the tree on Tuesday or Wednesday this week.” In preparation for the light parade.

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