ESTEVAN - Residents of the Estevan area have been praising a new, well-decorated Christmas tree, located at the junction of Souris Avenue North, King Street and 13th Avenue, and that’s music to the ears of the City of Estevan.
Rod March, the manager of parks and facilities, said it’s a tall spruce tree that was supplied by Tyler Wyatt with Tyros Tree Services, who is the city’s current tree contractor.
“I put a steel pipe in the centre flower bed with the hopes of putting something there for the festive season,” said March, who noted the pipe is about 10 feet deep.
March had approached Tyros about if they had plans to cut down any spruce trees, and if they could save one for the city.
“It just so happens that somebody wanted one removed from their yard, and it fit the bill perfectly,” said March. “It’s about an 18-foot … 20-foot high white spruce. It was perfectly shaped.”
Tyros provided and installed the tree.
The City of Estevan’s maintenance staff then added 3,100 lights and a Christmas star at the top. The tree is lit up from 5 p.m. to midnight each night.
March encourages people to come view the tree and enjoy it.
“It’s beautiful. I’ve seen it in the dark. There are a couple of guide wires, because being in the southeast, we’re prone to winds at times, as you might imagine. So with the guidewires around it, we’re asking people to be careful of that if you’re around the tree.”
He noted that about a year ago, a citizen approached city hall and pointed out there were three flower gardens that were sitting empty at the junction of King, Souris and 13th during the winter months, and suggested a Christmas theme in December. After checking into any concerns for line of sight, March checked into how he could stabilize the tree, and found the steel pipe as a solution.
When those planters were first installed a few years ago, March ran conduits for electrical service so that it could be a multi-use area.
A tree at city hall has been decorated for years, and lights have been brighter the past few years. March said he expects there will be a friendly competition with Norm Mack, the manager of public works’ roads and drainage division, over who can have the brighter tree.
When installing and decorating the tree, the city had to be aware of line of sight for traffic. They have not had any complaints regarding traffic, because when someone is in a vehicle the tree branches are above vehicles. That’s why the pipe has its location.
Nor have there been issues with neighbouring residents complaining about the brightness. Even with the number of lights, they amount to less than 120 watts.
“It’s like one lightbulb when it comes down to it, in terms of power usage, and/or brightness, but they’re LED lights. They’re not overly bright, and certainly not intrusive to any neighbours or anybody else driving by.”
The city has received a lot of compliments about the tree. It’s among the new decorations around the city. March praised the Downtown Business Association for their work to beautify the community with the large gift boxes that are in downtown Estevan.
Lighted garland has been added to lampposts in downtown Estevan on Fourth Street and Fifth Street, to go with the city’s decorations.
“It all adds up, but what we’re trying to do now is create a festive mood no matter where you are,” said March.
In future years, March said they might add to the tree and the area around the intersection. He suggested a nativity scene, but he recognizes they have to be very careful due to the amount of traffic in the area.