‘Tis The Season: Waterford couple donates tree to NYS for the holidays


WATERFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s time to spread holiday cheer, and what better way to celebrate than with lights on a tree. One tree donated by a family in Waterford was cut down and transported to the State Capitol.

Stephanie and Jim Reese moved into their Waterford home 6 months ago and it wasn’t just the house that caught their eye.

“My family is from the Adirondacks and we love trees. They are really big and beautiful. So when we saw the massive tree next to the house it just won us over,” said Stephanie Reese.  

The Reese’s wanted to spread Christmas cheer a little early and decided to donate their tree. They filled out an application to the NY State General Services and the rest was history. 

“We didn’t want to cut it down but we found out Albany could use it. We thought no better place we could give it to than Albany,” said Jim Reese. 

OGS Deputy Commissioner Michelle Rosales says crews search near and far to get the perfect tree. 

“So our crews got about 30 submissions from people all over the Capital Region. Our crews are very meticulous and they want to find the perfect tree,” said Rosales.

Crews say they found the perfect 40-foot blue spruce tree in Waterford. They had their hands full cutting and prepping the tree’s big haul to the Empire State Plaza.

“The tree doesn’t fall on its side. They are going to lift it on a crane and pick it up. It will then be placed on the truck,” said Rosales.

The Reese family waved goodbye to a prized possession in their yard. They were given a stump as a momento.

“I can’t wait to see when it’s all decorated,” said Stephanie Reese.

New York State’s holiday trees will be cut down and transported to the State Capitol. One of the donated trees will be placed on the Empire State Plaza and the other in East Capitol Park.

Lights will be turned on at the New York State Tree Lighting and Fireworks celebration presented by Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York on Sunday, December 5, from noon to 8 p.m. 

The free tree-lighting event will feature live music, ice-skating performances, and a visit from Santa.

The tree lighting and fireworks will begin at 5:15 p.m. The Empire “Skate” Plaza rink will open for skating this season at noon on Friday, December 3, weather permitting.

On Friday, November 19 in Clifton Park another tree will be donated by the Heritage family and will light up East Capitol Park in Albany.

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