Both clever and conservational, the Walsh Christmas tree sets a standard for holidays to come.
The raising of an evergreen strewn with twinkling lights is the first sign that everyone’s favorite season has arrived. At Walsh, the traditional tree is more than a disposable piece of décor: The 30-foot-tall conifer chosen for Founder’s Park is a living plant that will grow along with the community, appearing each year larger and healthier than ever before.
“This year we have nine families, and next year we’ll have over 130,” says Walsh director of community relations Bexie Nobles. “The tree is something our first residents will remember, and we hope in future years residents will come along on the journey to watch it be planted and lit.”
When the idea of keeping the same tree alive arose, Walsh contacted the experts—namely Environmental Design in Tomball, Texas. With over 100 years experience, the company is the premier tree-transplanting contractor in the world. Having placed trees everywhere from the 9-11 Memorial in New York to Obama’s White House, their expert experience allows them to ensure the roots will remain healthy.
“We’ve done living Christmas trees in the past,” says the company’s executive vice president Jonathan Judice. “For Walsh, we chose a native cedar which is the closest match for a fir or evergreen that grows in this part of Texas. It will keep growing, probably several feet each year, as long as we keep it happy and watered.”
Before moving the tree at the end of the season, certified staff arborists will prune the root ball to allow easier transfer to the Walsh tree farm. A 100-inch diameter hole will be dug to assure the tree is safe and stable, and an irrigation system will keep it nourished until it’s time to be decorated again.
“It’s simple, traditional, classic and something that will last a long time,” says Judice. “It’s going to give you a good feeling when you drive in the community. There’s something about the garlands and lights—it’s that old world feeling that makes you feel cozy and sets the tone for the holiday spirit.”