City lights its 'holiday tree' that came from wilds of Beaverton backyard
by: Christina Lent, Chris Wiese of Campbell Crane rearranges large counter weights to support the weight of the 9,000-pound tree. The spruce’s branches stretched across Berthold Street blocking traffic Monday morning.

Beaverton's perfect holiday tree that was lit Friday night in a music-filled ceremony came from the wilds of Vern Williams' backyard.

Williams' backyard isn't all that wild.

It's just a few blocks from Beaverton High School in the 13000 block of Southwest Berthold Street.

Williams' had a soaring spruce tree to get rid of and the city had a big place of honor to fill, so the two struck a deal.

The Central Beaverton neighbor agreed to donate the tree and the city agreed to do the heavy work of chopping it down, using a crane to lift it over Williams' home, load it onto a waiting truck bed and transport it to the public plaza at The Round at Beaverton Central for the annual Holiday Tree Lighting celebration.

'He was glad to see us take it because it was too close to his house and it was getting way too big,' said Keith Stone, an operations manager with the city.

Stone spotted the tree nearly two years ago while working in front of a Berthold neighbor's home.

'I try to look around the neighborhoods we're working in to see if I can find a tree that might work for the holiday tree lighting,' Stone said. 'This is the first time our tree's come from Beaverton.

'The first one came from Cedar Mill and the second one from Cooper Mountain. This one is by far the biggest and heaviest one.'

It's also the first and possibly last spruce tree that will hold the place of honor at Beaverton's annual holiday tradition.

'Spruce trees are really dense and very heavy,' Stone said. 'I don't think we'll ever pick a tree this big again.'

Williams' spruce weighed in at a hefty 10,000 pounds before three feet were sliced off the bottom, shaving 1,000 pounds right of f.

It took city maintenance, urban foresters and construction crews a bit longer than expected to trim the 65-foot evergreen tree Nov. 27 and move it to its new home.

Crews also had to call in an addition crane from Campbell Crane, close Berthold Street to traffic, disconnect a Comcast line and weld additional supports to secure and tame the tree to a trailer before transport.

'I can tell you that we were glad to get it in,' Stone said. 'People coming in on the rail and in the nearby restaurants got a show.

'They all thought it was pretty neat to watch.'

City crews spent Tuesday stringing six strands of 200 lights each to the branches of the spruce.

All 1,200 white lights will be lit during Friday night's holiday tree lighting.

'This tree will bring the community together,' Stone said. 'Having a tree lighting gives people a reason to come together.'

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