The evergreen tree decorated each Christmas in downtown Greenwood is likely coming down.
The blue spruce was planted at Main Street and Madison Avenue about 20 years ago and is dying. The city needs a new tree before the winter holidays this year, Mayor Mark Myers said.
About three months ago, the tree started turning brown and has been losing its needles, parks and recreation director Rob Taggart said.
If the tree continues looking the way it does or gets worse, the city will chop it down this fall, he said. The city won’t leave the tree up long enough for it to lose all its needles, he said.
Greenwood shouldn’t go a Christmas without a decorated tree at the busy downtown corner, Myers said.
The city has a tree-lighting ceremony every year as part of Greenwood-A-Glow, the community Christmas celebration. The tradition is an important part of celebrating the season, Myers said.
The tree’s current location between the intersection of Main Street and Madison Avenue and the parking lot at Greenwood’s new city hall is ideal for a community Christmas tree but too small for such a large evergreen, Myers said. A new tree would outgrow the spot in several years as well, he said.
But the city could transplant a Christmas tree to a park every 10 years or so and plant a new one at the corner as needed, he said.
Spring and fall are the best seasons for planting trees, so the city could replant a young 6- to 12-foot-tall evergreen this year, Taggart said.
The tree has been dying for years, even before recent changes to the area where it is located near the new city hall, city council member Brent Corey said at a meeting this month.
Recent droughts also hurt the evergreen, Taggart said.