Irwin Park’s Colorado spruce near the intersection of Ridge Road and Gottschalk became the victim of extremely high winds on Wednesday.
Residents stopped to take photos as news of the tree’s demise spread. Several lamented the end of the vulnerable “Christmas tree” that stood tall and perfectly shaped.
Doug Boehm, superintendent of Parks and Planning for the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, said the best estimate is the tree toppled over around 4 p.m. Winds were reported as high as 50 mph in some locations around Chicago. Luckily the tree fell toward the east and not into Ridge Road.
“We are fortunate the tree has made it this long through all the storms and weather related issues,” he said.
The tree that originally stood there was moved to Heritage Park and is still there, Boehm said.
The Colorado spruce was a transplant from a former employee’s house. Boehm said the tree was donated in the early 1990s for use as a holiday tree. The tree has been decorated by park district employees and most recently served as the starting point of the village’s Holiday Lights celebration for the Christmas season.
Crews will be at Irwin Park on Thursday morning to remove the tree.