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Holiday Tree Needed After Basking Ridge's Pick Felled

Sandy knocked over one large evergreen being considered for downtown this year, and damaged another.

The Basking Ridge Fire Co. thought that this year's choice for a donated holiday tree to decorate Basking Ridge center was all wrapped up — even with a backup nominee  — before Halloween arrived.

Then Hurricane Sandy came to town.

"Two trees were picked out. One went over and was too broken up, and the other had branches come off," said Todd Middleton, in charge of the fire company's holiday decorating committee.

For decades, a large evergreen donated by a local resident has been placed and decorated in the center of downtown Basking Ridge. The fire company had taken on responsibility for selecting one of the trees offered, and transporting it to the center of town.

Middleton that he himself inspects the trees that people are offering. He said the final selection is removed and transported to the center of town on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

Now, less than two weeks before Thanksgiving, he said that the fire company is back to looking for a tree for this year.

The ideal candidate is a well-rounded evergreen at least 30 feet high, one that isn't mishappen from growing too close to a house or for another reason, Middleton said.

The tree should be from Bernards Township or very nearby, so the fire company doesn't have to transport it very far, he added.

But he acknowledged that with so many storm-damaged trees in the area, this year's holiday tree may end up not quite being the ideal choice.

"Worst come to worse," Middleton said the fire company will select the already-nominated tree with some missing branches — a not uncommon site around town these days. He said the fire company even will consider a large tree that's been knocked over but not damaged very much.

Those who wish to offer a tree for donation should email t.middleton@brfco.com or call 908-766-9261, and leave a message.

Steve November 12, 2012 at 09:01 PM
I say they should use the tree they already picked out even with a few missing branches! We can all appreciate a Charlie Brown tree!
Susan November 12, 2012 at 11:08 PM
I agree, especially since we all were affected by Sandy....people and trees alike!!!
Linda Sadlouskos (Editor) November 13, 2012 at 03:09 AM
I admit to feeling a little less "evergreen" myself after the last two weeks, but I hope they find a tree they like.
Miles November 13, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I think the tree that survived (missing some limbs) would be a great symbol for what we all just went through. We'll have pictures of it for years to remind us of stories we can tell our grandchildren about how we survived "Sandy 2012". I've lived in this town over 40 years and have seen some pretty scraggly trees on the green, and I've loved them all.
Aileen Main November 13, 2012 at 01:50 PM
We have lost so many beautiful trees I think it would be wrong to cut down another when there are plenty "wounded" trees available.
Linda November 13, 2012 at 07:03 PM
A few wires and some extra branches laced into the damaged area of the tree will restore it's beauty without cutting down one of the survivor trees. That's what they do with the Rockefellar Center Tree!
margaret November 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I really wish we were able to call it a Christmas tree and not a "Holiday" tree
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