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Traveling tree: How a giant Christmas tree is making its way from California to Oklahoma

The Oklahoman logo The Oklahoman 10/12/2021 Carla Hinton, Oklahoman

ENID — It's not quite Christmas but the holiday is near — and so is a giant fresh-cut Christmas tree currently making its way from California to Oklahoma.

The 140-foot-tall Christmas tree is being hauled by truck from McCloud Flats in California to Enid, where it will be the centerpiece of "The One," a 42-day celebration of the true meaning of Christmas. 

The tree is being promoted as the world's largest fresh-cut Christmas tree. Nicole Winfield, project coordinator for The One, said organizers initially described the "Christ Tree" as the "anticipated" largest fresh-cut Christmas tree, but they've done their research and they feel confident with their description. The tree is also promoted as taller than the typical Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City. 

A 140-foot-tall fresh-cut Christmas tree is prepared for traveling to Enid. © Provided A 140-foot-tall fresh-cut Christmas tree is prepared for traveling to Enid.

"To our knowledge, it is the world's tallest fresh-cut Christmas tree," she said Monday.  

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A truck hauls a 140-foot-tall fresh-cut Christmas tree from McCloud Flats in California on its way to Enid, where it will be showcased at "The One," a 42-day event celebrating the Christmas holiday season. © Provided A truck hauls a 140-foot-tall fresh-cut Christmas tree from McCloud Flats in California on its way to Enid, where it will be showcased at "The One," a 42-day event celebrating the Christmas holiday season.

Both the tree and the celebration where it will be showcased were the idea of Kyle Williams, chief executive officer of Hammer Williams Co., his wife, Carol, and their family.

The Williams family made the announcement about the tree and "The One" event at a Christmas in July-theme news conference in July in Enid.

Williams said the project will cost about $500,000 and funding will come from Hammer Williams Co., which owns Jiffy Trip convenience stores, along with partnering organizations.

Winfield said individuals and businesses have stepped up in the last few months to help make the project happen. 

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On the move

McCloud Flats is an area in California just outside Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Winfield said the “Christ Tree” being trucked in from that location is expected to arrive in Enid about 6 p.m. Wednesday, barring any unforeseen travel situations. 

A free welcoming party is planned at the Stride Bank Center lot, south of the arena at 301 S Independence.

Winfield said The One executive committee leaders will be joined by community leaders and volunteers for this event and spectators are encouraged to participate.

The tree is expected to be lifted by crane into its official location in downtown Enid on Thursday. A special tree-lighting ceremony will be held on Nov. 26, in tandem with the start of Main Street Enid's annual "Enid Lights Up the Plains."

A fresh-cut tree is being hauled by truck from California to Enid. Additional limbs will be added to the bottom part of the tree to make it look more like a regular Christmas tree. © Provided A fresh-cut tree is being hauled by truck from California to Enid. Additional limbs will be added to the bottom part of the tree to make it look more like a regular Christmas tree.

Winfield said the tree is being moved in October to fit the schedule of a man who will fill in the bottom portion of the tree with tree limbs. She said it's common for tall true firs to be bare at the bottom. Holes will be drilled in the bottom portion of the tree trunk for the additional tree limbs.

Winfield said organizers made sure the tree had plenty of water before it was cut. It will be sprayed with a flame-retardant substance designed to keep it alive and fresh for the coming weeks and the duration of the holiday celebration.

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She said the substance is also a needle binder that helps keep the needles on the tree so they won't drop too quickly.

"We're all in a learning process," she said.

The Williams family envisioned “The One” as a celebration of Christmas featuring converts, plays and other activities for people of all ages.

With the "Christ Tree" as its centerpiece, the event will be a reminder that Jesus is the reason for the Christmas celebration. Event organizers expect people from across Oklahoma and the region will participate in the celebration to mark the holidays and to get a look at the huge tree. 

To learn more

For real-time updates on the Christ Tree's arrival and more pictures of the tree, go to the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/TheOneEnid. For more information about The One, go to  www.theoneenid.com. 

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Traveling tree: How a giant Christmas tree is making its way from California to Oklahoma

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