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VIDEO: Milwaukee's Christmas tree harvested for holiday season

With a few slices of the saw, this 31-foot Colorado Blue spruce officially became the 2022 city of Milwaukee Christmas tree.
Posted at 7:24 AM, Nov 01, 2022

MILWAUKEE — It may be Nov. 1, but Milwaukee is already getting into the holiday spirit with the harvesting of the city’s Christmas tree.

With a few slices of the saw, this 31-foot Colorado Blue spruce officially became the 2022 city of Milwaukee Christmas tree. Planted years ago in the front yard of his Washington Heights home, 93-year-old Erwin Boehme says he didn’t want to see its beauty go to waste.

“I didn't want to see a tree like this to just be chopped down and I wanted some use out of it, you know, so that the city of Milwaukee could enjoy it," said Boehme.

A retired Milwaukee firefighter, Boehme says his father worked as an arborist and taught him everything he knows. And now, he says knowing the evergreen he lovingly cared for is being celebrated is wonderful.

“I'm very proud. I enjoyed, like I said, raising it and I'm glad that it's going to be used for the annual Christmas tree,” said Boehme.

This year marks the 109th year of the Christmas tree lighting in Milwaukee, which is the longest-running official tree in the United States other than another really famous evergreen… New York City’s. And for the first time, the tree has a new home, right outside Fiserv Forum.

“It's been a goal of mine to work to get the city Christmas tree around, to not just have it in the place where it's been the past few years near city hall, but to share the joy, really, with the entire city,” said Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson.

While the branches are still being fluffed out, department of public works staff will now decorate the tree before the public lighting ceremony on Nov. 18.

Watch Elaine's coverage over social media below:

Milwaukee Alderman Michael J. Murphy issued the following statement:

"This morning I had the pleasure of joining Mayor Cavalier Johnson, leadership and staff from the Department of Public Works, and Bango, for the annual harvesting of the City of Milwaukee Christmas Tree.

This year’s tree was donated by 10th District resident Erwin Boehme. The 31-foot Colorado Blue Spruce was harvested from outside his home in Washington Heights, and then escorted by the Milwaukee Police Department to downtown where it will be placed outside the Fiserv Forum in the Deer District. I want to thank Erwin for his generosity as we begin to usher in the holiday season.

2022 marks the 109th year of the Christmas tree lighting in Milwaukee, making it the longest running official tree lighting ceremony in the United States other than New York City’s. I would invite all residents to take part in the public tree lighting ceremony on November 18 in the Deer District as we continue a grand and joyous tradition."

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