Laconia Public Works Steve Smith is at the backhoe while Lucas Lamos trims the base of a 30-foot balsam fir placed at Veterans Square for the upcoming holiday season yesterday morning. (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — City workers cut down a 40-foot spruce tree Thursday, trimmed 10 feet off the bottom and installed it in Veterans Square for Christmas.
This is the second year the city has used a donated tree for holiday celebrations, said Kevin Dunleavy, director of parks and recreation.
Previously, the square's massive Norway spruce was used for this purpose, but its sheer size made it difficult to adorn. Some people said the finished product wasn't pretty.
This year, Steve and Marie Kace, of Gilford, donated a tree that was near power lines and had outgrown its space on their lot.
Workers early Thursday went to the couple's home, removed the tree and loaded it on a trailer for transport downtown.
A large-diameter pipe driven into the grass near the old railroad station serves as a mounting sleeve.
Public Works employees cut off the bottom fourth of the tree so it wasn't too wide to fit in the pipe. A worker ran a chainsaw along the trunk to make sure it was clean of obstructions that could prevent it from falling into place.
But even at that, it was no easy job. It was hoisted with heavy equipment, but it was difficult to position it for the drop.
After several attempts during a chill rain, additional chainsaw work was done to bevel the bottom edge of the trunk. A large pry bar and a shovel were employed to position it just right. Finally, it slid to the bottom of the pipe with a satisfying clunk.
Dunleavy said Christmas lights will be placed on it in coming days. There will be a parade on Nov. 25 that will conclude at the tree. Santa Claus will be present and the tree will be lighted.
After the holiday season, the stately spruce will be discarded and the pipe will be capped until next year.
Laconia Public Works workers Steve St. Pierre, Lucas Lamos and Steve Smith operate the backhoe, preparing to unload the 30-foot balsam fir being placed at Veterans Square yesterday morning. (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)