When a simple evergreen tree was planted near Cadillac, no one knew it was destined for fame 50 years later. The planting of the Norway spruce celebrated the opening of Kettunen Center, the leader training facility and conference center owned and operated by the Michigan 4-H Foundation. The tree spent its life making the grounds of the Kettunen Center more beautiful. But the stately 60-foot tree was starting to overgrow its space. At the same time, the Detroit 300 Conservancy was searching statewide for a special tree to be the star attraction of the 2011 Detroit Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Winter Magic-Detroit festivities. The Michigan Christmas Tree Association supported the search efforts and found the tree with the help of the Michigan State University Extension Christmas Tree Area of Expertise Team.
Harvested on Halloween, the tree traveled to its new home, Campus Martius Park, Nov. 2. After more than a week of preparation, the tree was ready Nov. 18 for the tree lighting ceremony and festivities, presented by DTE Energy Foundation. The tree reigned over the festivities at the Woodward Fountain next to the ice rink.
View photos of the tree from its harvest at Kettunen Center to its transformation into a Christmas beauty by visiting the Campus Martius Park Facebook page.
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View this video of the tree being put into place in Detroit.