Christmas tree MT050317_web
Local News

Irwin Park will get a new Christmas tree

The holiday tree at Irwin Park was beautiful for ceremonies in December, but it didn’t survive through the winter.
 
The Homewood-Flossmoor Park Board got the bad news at its Tuesday, May 2, meeting. 

  The Irwin Park holiday tree is in distress and needs
  to be replaced, according to H-F Park District officials.

  (Photo by Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)
 

The holiday tree at Irwin Park was beautiful for ceremonies in December, but it didn’t survive through the winter.

 
The Homewood-Flossmoor Park Board got the bad news at its Tuesday, May 2, meeting. Doug Boehm, superintendent of parks and planning, said it seems the ground rejected the transplanted tree.
 
Homewood resident Carol Loreth gave the park district the tree after the spruce that stood in the park for more than 20 years was blown over in a windstorm in March 2016. Loreth said it was fitting the tree return to Irwin Park because she received it around 1985 as a sapling from Richard Irwin, the park’s benefactor and namesake, when she worked at Irwin Publishing.
 
Boehm said the tree’s brown spots were first noticeable in April, a year after it was moved from Loreth’s front yard to Irwin Park. Boehm said he had hoped the affected areas would just be at the bottom branches where all the needles have dropped, but now there are bare patches throughout the tree.

Loreth said “the park district made a valiant effort to save it” after she noticed the tree was in distress and called to ask what could be done. “It is sad. I even stopped by one day to touch it and apologize for uprooting it.” 
 

The board agreed to an allocation of $5,500 for a new spruce tree. Boehm hopes to get one about the same 25-foot height. He said soil samples will be taken to determine what the ground needs. He will start the process immediately so a new tree can be placed and extend its roots. 
 
Board members are hoping for a healthy tree for the annual Holiday Lights celebration early in December.

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