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Homeowners relish tree at heart of California Christmas rite

Posted at 12:47 PM, Dec 01, 2019

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Residents are trying to save a struggling deodar cedar tree that lies at the heart of an annual California Christmas tradition.

The Fresno Bee reports Sunday that homeowners Greg and Dana Pratt have hired an arborist to tend to the first tree of what today is known as Christmas Tree Lane.

The tree was first decorated in 1920 by William and Mae Winning in memory of their teenage son who died from a fall. Neighbors decorated trees in front of their homes in solidarity with the grieving parents.

Today, the tree is one of hundreds decorated by residents along a 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) stretch of Van Ness Boulevard each December.

Dana Pratt says she believes the tradition embodies the spirit of Christmas.