Watkinsville holds a tree lighting during December's First Friday event each year. Mayor Charles Ivie said a group of citizens suggested the city consider a living tree instead of putting up a cut tree. One reason is because the city has had problems with trees in previous years toppling over, ruining the decorations, he explained.
The wholesale tree farm Southeastern Growers, located on Macon Highway, donated the tree and, because there are utilities in the area, county workers helped city workers dig the hole.
"It started to come together on Thursday and by Monday at 1:30 or so it was in, watered, fertilized and mulched," he said.
The evergreen currently stands at 14 feet, but could mature to 50 feet tall and 20 feet wide at the base, according Rusty Rice of Southeastern Growers. He said the Cryptomeria japonica Radicans was selected because it has a nice shape and is low maintenance.
The farm has volunteered to look after the tree.