MILWAUKEE -- The Department of Public Works (DPW) with help from Mayor Tom Barrett harvested the city's annual Christmas tree on Monday, Nov. 5 near Honey Creek Drive and Cold Spring Road on the city's south side.
"It's a perfect shape. It's going to fit really nice next to City Hall," said Jeff Polenske, City of Milwaukee DPW engineer.
The 37-foot Colorado Blue Spruce was located along Cold Spring Road in the 11th Aldermanic District, represented by Alderman Mark Borkowski. The tree stole the show Monday morning, sending neighbors out of bed and onto their front lawns to watch the annual tradition unfold.
"That's why I came out. I've seen it many times on TV, but nothing this close," said Patrick Peet, neighbor.
The 2018 harvest marked the 105th year of the tradition in Milwaukee. The celebration is the second-oldest of its kind in the nation, next to New York City's.
"And it came down with no drama," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. "Every year, we have another family from the City of Milwaukee who becomes a double winner. They're able to contribute a tree for the rest of the residents in the City of Milwaukee, and at the same time, they get a very mature tree removed from their property at no expense."
Chosen from more than 20 submissions, the tree was removed quickly, but carefully.
"Placed ropes within the tree itself, and they had a crane that they hooked it up to, and basically cut it down with a chainsaw," said Polenske.
"This one was smooth as silk. This one came down very nicely," said Barrett.
Following the harvest, the tree received a Milwaukee Police Department escort to City Hall, where it was placed on North Market Street.
"Oh, it's beautiful, huh? Very nice. They did a wonderful job," said Peet.
The tree was decorated by DPW Forestry staff ahead of the annual tree lighting ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. at City Hall.