Chicago’s 105th Christmas Tree Gets Cut Down, Moved To Millennium Park

Bernie Tafoya
November 01, 2018 - 2:06 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A 56-foot-tall Norway spruce was cut down from Thursday in front of a house in Elmhurst, destined to be set up in Millennium Park as the city of Chicago’s official 2018 Christmas tree.

The 8,000 pound tree was cut down in less than 90 seconds from in front of Deborah Orth’s home on Hillside Avenue.

"It’s gotten too big for where it is planted and it’s not the tree’s fault, but it has to go," she said.

Even though she knew the tree had to go, Orth said there’s a part of her that will miss it. It's where her son, Charlie, took his first day of school pictures each year. Plus, it's provided Orth shade from the sun, not to mention, "it’s protected many a bunny and skunk. So, it’s a little nostalgic in that sense."

Neighbor Judi Douglas agreed the tree's time had come and she jokingly said, "We’re just excited we can see down the street now."

According to Cultural Affairs and Special Events Deputy Commissioner Erin Harkey, the 46-year-old tree was among 79 offered to the city of Chicago this year. She calls the tree "really magical looking."

WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya

As for what will go in the empty space where the tree was, Orth said she'd like to put up a flag pole and, maybe, some shrubs. 

"It’s important for me to display the American flag," she said.

WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya

Deborah Orth, her son, parents and some neighbors will be in Millennium Park on Nov. 16 when her decorated tree is lighted. The emcee will be Miguel Cervantes, who portrays Alexander Hamilton in the Chicago version of the musical, "Hamilton."

The lit tree will be on display in Millennium Park from Nov. 16 to Jan. 6.