A little piece of Cheshire will be on display on the New Haven green starting today, Dec. 2 through the end of the holidays.
A special Norway Spruce, courtesy of Cheshire resident Tracy Strickland’s front yard, was chosen as the holiday tree to be lit up for New Haven’s tree lighting ceremony.
“The owner of Cheshire Nursery was driving around my neighborhood doing deliveries in the area and he must’ve seen it,” Strickland said. “Next thing I know, I had a knock on the door asking if I would be interested in donating my tree.”
This is the second year in a row a Cheshire tree has been chosen for the New Haven green holiday showcase, although last year’s had a short tenure as the center of attention after strong wind gusts toppled the 65-foot-giant Norway Spruce, severely damaging the trunk and rendering it unusable shortly after it was erected. Last year’s tree came from the Gangi house on Budding Ridge Road.
Now, Cheshire gets the chance to try again, with yet another Norway Spruce from the Strickland home on Trout Brook Road.
“The tree has been here ever since I moved in in 2005,” Strickland said. “It was much smaller then. It’s a beautiful tree. I would have kept it if it wasn’t so in the way.”
The tree had begun to take up most of Strickland’s driveway and front yard, making it difficult to navigate around, she explained. Now, it will stand proudly in the center of New Haven.
“The cool thing is that I work in New Haven, so I’ll get to see it,” Strickland explained. “It’s like a little piece of home following me around.”
Just like last year at the Gangi residence, a team of people arrived at the Strickland home in late October to begin the arduous process of tying up all the branches for transport.
“It’s a really complicated and complex job,” Strickland said. “They have to tie up all the inner branches first, and then the outer ones, all to make sure nothing bursts or sticks out while they drive it down.”
Then to cut the tree, a team of workers tie a large metal palette to the tree and cut from the very bottom, ensuring all the branches are intact.
“They tie this huge metal piece to it and then, when they cut it, all they have to do is lower the metal piece onto the truck and drive it away,” she explained. “It’s really a cool thing to watch.”
Strickland is excited to attend the tree lighting ceremony, which will happen today, Dec. 2, at the New Haven green at 7 p.m.
“My son and I are going to go down and watch them light it up,” she said. “We hope a lot of people from Cheshire will come down and see it, or at least stop by — we’re really excited about it.”