ALBANY, N.Y. - Early Tuesday morning locals prepared to cut down the donated Blue Spruce that will soon be erected as this year's New York State Holiday Tree in Albany's Empire State Plaza.
More than 20 years ago, the tree made its way to Lise Poole's home on Vista Avenue in Latham after the Pooles took note of its sparse branches while visiting a local nursery and decided to nurture the evergreen back to health.
Poole remembers the day, 27 years ago, when she and her husband first brought home the Colorado Blue Spruce. "It wasn't as full as the other ones," she said, "it just drew us to it, and we said 'let's take that one.'"
Poole used her own method to help the ugly duckling grow. "I go out there and I talk to it once in a while and say 'stay healthy, stay strong and keep growing' and it has."
"I was nervous about letting go of it," Poole says. "I might shed a tear of two afterwards, but I'm glad I'm doing it."
Poole says she is not sure what she will do with the empty space, but she doesn't think she will replace the tree because she says "there is nothing good enough to replace it."
The 30-foot tree was supposed to be cut down Tuesday morning but some issues with the truck hauling it away delayed the process. The crew will be making the cut in the next few days.
Marking the beginning of the 2012 season's festivities, lights will be turned on at the official tree lighting ceremony and firework show on Sunday, December 2 at 5 p.m.
On Thursday, a second state Holiday Tree will be brought to Albany's East Capitol Park from a family on Rachlin Lane in Loudonville.
This tree was integral part of the Loudonville family with seven children, three of whom were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The tree has yellow ribbons symbolizing their deployment, and has also boasted signs announcing births, graduations and weddings.
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