Blossoms-Xmas tree 2018-05-09 003c
Local News

Park officials hope third time’s the charm for Irwin Park tree

The tree in Irwin Park, which residents affectionately call the Christmas tree, needs to be replaced  again. The tree lost its leaves in recent weeks. It is the second replacement tree that failed to thrive following the loss of a 60-foot tree that was toppled by high winds in March 2016.

  This photo taken May 9 shows 
  the tree’s distressed condition. 
  Leaves were gone on more than 
  two-thirds of the tree.
(Photo 
  by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 

The tree in Irwin Park, which residents affectionately call the Christmas tree, needs to be replaced — again.
 

In March 2016, a 60-foot Colorado spruce that stood in the park’s northwest corner for years was toppled over by high winds. The tree came to be known as the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District’s Christmas tree because it was decorated each holiday season and celebrated with a tree lighting ceremony.
 
Homewood resident Carol Loreth volunteered her Blue Spruce as a replacement tree. It was dug up and carted off to Irwin Park where it stood for just one holiday season before distress set in.
 
The park district purchased a Norway spruce replacement tree for $5,500 in April 2017. It was decorated for the holidays but was already showing some signs of distress. It was removed last week.
 
At the park board’s meeting Tuesday, May 15, Doug Boehm, superintendent of parks and planning, said the tree is under warranty and the nursery will replace it.
 
But first, soil samples will be taken to learn what, if anything, can be done to encourage growth by the replacement tree. “If there are any concerns for the soil, we will adjust our location of the new tree,” he said.
 
The nursery expects to plant a new tree in July. 
 

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