Guy Sever had been thinking about offering up his gigantic tree as the City of Winnipeg’s Christmas tree for a while.
After the city put out a call for trees on Oct. 18, the North Kildonan resident decided to offer up his 12-metre-tall Colorado blue spruce for consideration.
"In their first round of trees, they hadn’t found anything they wanted yet," Sever said. "I had thought about (donating my tree) for a few years now, and it was something, I guess it was time now. I thought it would be a good idea to give it a shot and see if they were interested in my tree or not."
Sever said when city representatives came out to look at the tree, and told Sever it was the top tree they’d seen to that point. Soon afterward, the tree was selected, and city crews came to collect the tree at Sever’s Stalker Bay residence on the morning of Nov. 3.
Sever said he was surprised at the attention the cut received from the community.
"There was a fair crowd that was out watching it and I thought ‘Wow, this is attracting a lot of attention’," Sever said. "There were people who were taking photos all over the place. There were iPods, iPhones, iPads, you name it, cameras on tripods, everything. People were filming the whole event."
Sever noted he was surprised at how quickly crews were able to cut the tree, adding the entirety of the setup, takedown, and the cut itself took about two-and-a-half hours.
"They were laying it down and they had to strap it to the flatbed (truck), and they had a police escort to City Hall," Sever said. "There were trees that had to be cut along the way because it was quite high, even lying down.
"A lot of the overhanging trees had to be trimmed along the way."
Sever and his daughters Makyla and Lexi, who are 11 and 13 respectively, will be part of the lighting of the tree at City Hall (510 Main St.) on Nov. 15 at approximately 5:45 p.m. The tree will be trimmed with approximately 9,000 LED lights placed by the city’s urban forestry division.
"It’ll be special for my kids. I’m glad I did this, because this will be a once-in-a-lifetime thing for them," Sever said.