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O.B. Christmas tree that keeps on giving

Same pine topped 8 years ago gets whacked again

Slowly down Abbott Street
Slowly down Abbott Street

When Cheryl, Alex, and their son Lucas donated the top of their enormous Norfolk Island pine eight years ago for the Ocean Beach Christmas tree, they probably never thought they would be donating from the same tree again this year.

The cutting started at 7 a.m. on December 1 and it wasn't until about seven hours later that it was planted in the sand at the end of Newport Avenue.

They started cutting at 7 a.m.

Alex Troncellito told me, "It was probably 90 feet tall that many years ago and Claudia Peters Jack [who has organized the cutting of the O.B. tree for the past 22 years] said, ‘We only need about 60 feet of it."

This year, the family was hoping to have the whole tree removed because, Cheryl said, "The cones get so heavy, they weigh all the branches down and the tree just droops."

But once again, the whole tree was too big for the permanent cement hole that is under the sand at the seawall at the end of Newport Avenue.

Locating the hole to stand the tree upright

Jack said, "All we could take this year was about 35 feet because the rest of the tree is just too much for us.”

Larry Thayer, who works for Hawthorne Rent-It, said, "This topper weighs 17,000 pounds." Last year's tree was almost twice as tall but only weighed in at 10,000 pounds.

But to have one tree be the O.B. Christmas tree twice, "has never happened before," said Jack.

This project comes under the wing of the Ocean Beach Town Council. When I spoke to council board member Nate Bazydlo, he mentioned that, "It's a good thing the tree isn't any taller this year with the possible El Niño winds and rains we're supposed to get."

Seven hours later...

With the concerted (and donated) effort of Bob's Crane, Reed Trucking, Barona (for the bracing), and Hawthorne Rent-It, it turns into a spectacle once they all move into place at the end of Newport and Abbott. Many locals and tourists gathered around along with ten SDPD officers — including the motorcade that escorts the tree down from the top of Brighton Avenue.

While Cheryl expressed some disappointment that the whole tree wasn't being taken out, she said, "I'm glad it won't disturb the hawk that lives in the tree." She jokingly went on to tell me that, "The branches get so heavy that I think that tree has tried to kill us a couple of times!"

When I mentioned to Alex and Cheryl that the tree might give up another topper in the next eight to ten years, they were receptive to the idea.

The tree gets decorated by town-council members on Wednesday morning and then kids from O.B. Elementary come in Thursday to finish that up. The tree gets officially lit at the 36th annual O.B. Christmas parade on Saturday, December 5, which starts at 5:05 p.m., O.B. time.

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Slowly down Abbott Street
Slowly down Abbott Street

When Cheryl, Alex, and their son Lucas donated the top of their enormous Norfolk Island pine eight years ago for the Ocean Beach Christmas tree, they probably never thought they would be donating from the same tree again this year.

The cutting started at 7 a.m. on December 1 and it wasn't until about seven hours later that it was planted in the sand at the end of Newport Avenue.

They started cutting at 7 a.m.

Alex Troncellito told me, "It was probably 90 feet tall that many years ago and Claudia Peters Jack [who has organized the cutting of the O.B. tree for the past 22 years] said, ‘We only need about 60 feet of it."

This year, the family was hoping to have the whole tree removed because, Cheryl said, "The cones get so heavy, they weigh all the branches down and the tree just droops."

But once again, the whole tree was too big for the permanent cement hole that is under the sand at the seawall at the end of Newport Avenue.

Locating the hole to stand the tree upright

Jack said, "All we could take this year was about 35 feet because the rest of the tree is just too much for us.”

Larry Thayer, who works for Hawthorne Rent-It, said, "This topper weighs 17,000 pounds." Last year's tree was almost twice as tall but only weighed in at 10,000 pounds.

But to have one tree be the O.B. Christmas tree twice, "has never happened before," said Jack.

This project comes under the wing of the Ocean Beach Town Council. When I spoke to council board member Nate Bazydlo, he mentioned that, "It's a good thing the tree isn't any taller this year with the possible El Niño winds and rains we're supposed to get."

Seven hours later...

With the concerted (and donated) effort of Bob's Crane, Reed Trucking, Barona (for the bracing), and Hawthorne Rent-It, it turns into a spectacle once they all move into place at the end of Newport and Abbott. Many locals and tourists gathered around along with ten SDPD officers — including the motorcade that escorts the tree down from the top of Brighton Avenue.

While Cheryl expressed some disappointment that the whole tree wasn't being taken out, she said, "I'm glad it won't disturb the hawk that lives in the tree." She jokingly went on to tell me that, "The branches get so heavy that I think that tree has tried to kill us a couple of times!"

When I mentioned to Alex and Cheryl that the tree might give up another topper in the next eight to ten years, they were receptive to the idea.

The tree gets decorated by town-council members on Wednesday morning and then kids from O.B. Elementary come in Thursday to finish that up. The tree gets officially lit at the 36th annual O.B. Christmas parade on Saturday, December 5, which starts at 5:05 p.m., O.B. time.

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