State Christmas Tree harvested in Gogebic County

Dozens gather to watch tree get lifted before it gets taken to Lansing
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 5:46 PM EDT
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MARENISCO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - “TIMBER!” That is what dozens of people yelled out Wednesday morning while gazing at the roots of Christmas spirit.

This year’s State Christmas Tree was cut and lifted from a property off of US-2 in Marenisco Township.

For at least 20 years, Denny Olson of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association has helped the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget find a tree for the state capitol.

“I’ve been looking a long time at this tree, and it’s finally going to Lansing,” said Olson. “It was rotting, so this tree was at the end of its life.”

Sixty-three feet tall, Olson has noticed this spruce for 12 years. Since 2018, he and the property’s owner, Carla Fletcher, have been in touch.

“It was about three years ago that we finally decided to give it to them because if it came down, it would take out our cabin,” Fletcher explained. “So, we did donate it to them. This year, they called us and said they would be interested in taking it.”

The ceremony included bands from Watersmeet, Bessemer, and Ironwood schools, and representatives from both U.S. Senators’ offices. Township Supervisor Bruce Mahler says many were proud to have the tree selected.

“Marenisco has been known for a long time for logging and lumbering,” Mahler stated. “This is just the epitome of it.”

Mahler says this tree is special.

“When I look at this tree now and where it’s going to go, it’s a special symbol of the U.P.,” he explained. “But, it’s a symbol of the {Christmas} season.”

“I am so blessed to be part of this and to see other people,” Olson said. “The kids {that came} here, they’re all future leaders that are going to be able to continue this on.”

This marks the second State Tree to hail from Gogebic County and the 24th from the Upper Peninsula.

The tree will arrive at the Michigan Capitol on Saturday, October 30th. It will be lit following Lansing’s annual Silver Bells Parade on November 19th.

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