Largest Christmas tree arrives in Valley - Tucson News Now

Largest Christmas tree arrives in Valley

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ANTHEM, AZ (CBS5) -

The Outlets at Anthem continue to work with a family tree farm in Northern California to bring the tallest fresh-cut tree in America right here to the Valley.

"They've been working together for many years, and every year, Vito, the father says 'so would you like the tallest tree in the nation this year?' And happily, we say yes, please," said Sallyann Martinez with the Outlets at Anthem.

From it's birthplace in the Shasta-Trinity Forest, the white fir then spends four days traveling roughly 750 miles on a 75-foot flatbed trailer, to its final resting place at the outdoor mall.

"It sits in a tree well that's actually 7 feet deep, so it's filled with water, and we keep that tree alive through the first week of January," said Martinez.

How the tree looked upon arrival today is how it grew in the California forest. To get it to look like a Christmas tree, a process called plugging is used to give it some shape.

"What happens is because it's in the forest, the sun doesn't reach the bottom part of the trunk and so therefore branches don't grow. So trees that are close to the area are trimmed and brought in here so we can utilize them for our tree," Martinez said.

The new branches are attached by literally plugging them into the tree through a series of cuts and wedges. No glue, nails or metal is used. The tree is then sprayed with fire retardant, and then ready to be decorated.

"We put on 3 miles of LED lights all by hand and then 3,000 ornaments and bows," added Martinez.

Crews will spend about two weeks getting the tree ready for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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