BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City lit up it’s annual tree for the holiday on Monday, but where the tree came from this year is raising some eyebrows.
For the last decade, private donors have made the tree at city hall possible. That didn’t happen this year.
So, the city chopped this one down from Druid Hill Park.
We checked, and back in October, the city posted an ad online asking the public to help find and donate the perfect tree.
With that press of a button, the Christmas tree in front of Baltimore City Hall came to life Monday evening.
The annual spectacle for the most part is always a people pleaser.
“It’s just been so much fun!,” spectator Mary Frantz said.
But this year’s tree isn’t leaving some in such a cheerful mood.
Not because the tree isn’t great, in fact, that’s why some are upset to begin with.
You see, the 30-foot Norway spruce was cut down from public Druid Hill Park.
“I’m not sure how I feel about that, but in general, cutting down any tree anywhere is not too good,” Shanika Kelly said.
The city chopped down the tree one week ago, even sharing pictures and video of it on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
The decision was made after plan A — to have the tree donated from a private donor — fell through.
“We should be growing trees in Baltimore for Baltimore,” Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said.
At the tree lightingm, Pugh defended the decision, saying the tree’s days were numbered anyway.
‘My understanding was, [it] was going to taken down because we were making room for zoo parking and they needed additional space,” she said.
Online, Christmas tree critics were not happy the tree was taken, questioning why a tree farm wasn’t used instead.
While others say it’s for the greater good, they’re okay with it.
“It doesn’t really upset me,” Susan Tager said. “I’m sure there are many many trees over there.”
“It’s for a very good cause, and I think it’s a great idea,” spectator Crystal Williams-Milbourne added.
The Baltimore City Recreation and Parks released the following statement:
“For over 10 years we’ve worked hand in hand with City Hall to solicit a tree donation from private citizens for the City Hall Christmas Tree. Each year the solicitation process has been successful and our Forestry Division manages the careful removal, transportation and installation of the tree. This year, a donation wasn’t received in enough time for the coordination so a tree was selected and removed from Druid Hill Park. Going forward, BCRP plans to identify a space within our park inventory specifically for the growing and harvesting of trees for holiday use.”