Arizona December 11, 2016
You’ve Never Seen A More Uniquely Arizona Christmas Tree Than This One
Arizona is filled with deserts, forests, and riparian areas but if there’s anything our state is best known for, its the sprawling desert environment that can be found in all corners of the state. Because of that, we’re pretty familiar with seeing our various cacti all spruced up in areas where spruce and fir don’t naturally grow.
But this one tree in Chandler really stands out for its unique material.
This year actually marks the 60th anniversary for this Chandler tradition, in which hundreds of tumbleweeds are gathered to create one unique, Arizona-style Christmas tree. It sits in downtown Chandler and a lighting ceremony and accompanying parade takes place in early December each year.
Inspired by a pine bough tree in 1957, Chandler residents sought to create their own version. What resulted was the tumbleweed tree.
The construction is all done by hand with real tumbleweeds harvested from the surrounding desert.
Overall, about 1,000 tumbleweeds are used to create the 25 to 30-foot tall tree (height varies by year)!
Once enough are collected, a 25-foot tall wire frame is assembled to create the basic shape of the tree and the tumbleweeds are inserted from there.
The tumbleweeds are then coated with plenty of flame retardant (they want to prevent any fires from these dried out weeds!) and a few coats of white paint and glitter to liven up the otherwise brown plants. They wrap thousands of twinkling, colored lights around the tree and top it with a special City of Chandler star just before the lighting ceremony.
You'll find large crowds arrive from all across the Valley once the lights are turned on!
It's one beautiful spot to celebrate the holidays.
In fact, here’s a short video that I think quickly describes the tree’s origins and how it is assembled. It’s less than three minutes so enjoy learning more about the ingenious creation!
Wow, that was pretty cool!
If you want to see another incredible, large Christmas display, check out one place we recently featured in
The Life-Size Ginger Bread House In Arizona That Will Make All Your Childhood Dreams Come True.