Redwood that was yard nuisance graces Haller Fountain as Port Townsend’s Christmas tree
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Michael Rosser, left, who is in charge of attaching the lights to the Port Townsend Christmas tree, shares holiday joy with Marga Smith, who donated the tree that was in her front yard. -- Photo by Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — The acquisition of this year’s city Christmas Tree came about after a chance meeting between Main Street Executive Director Mari Mullen and Port Townsend resident Marga Smith.

Mullen said she was looking for a nice local tree, and Smith had the solution, offering a 20-foot redwood that had taken over her front yard.

“We’ve never had a redwood, so this is special,” Mullen said.

“And we were able to ‘buy local.’”

Smith bought the tree when it was only a few feet high and in 1996 planted it in her front yard, where it grew to its current height.

On Monday, city parks workers and volunteers took the tree down from Smith’s yard and placed it at Haller Fountain at the corner of Washington and Taylor streets downtown — the traditional place for the Port Townsend Christmas tree.

Volunteers decorated the tree Tuesday in preparation for the tree-lighting and arrival of Santa Claus at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Volunteer Michael Rosser, who has attached the lights for the past four years, said the rules for decorating the tree are similar to doing so at home — with some differences.

“We want to spread them out so they don’t get bunched up, just like on a home tree, although this tree is a lot larger,” he said.

“We also need to make sure the lights are really secure because the wind can come up pretty hard from the water up Taylor Street.”

Rosser said there are 24 light strands that are attached to the tree and along the railing for the staircase leading uptown.


Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

Last modified: November 27. 2012 6:02PM
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