NOTE: A photo of this year’s Boston Tree is available at
Mary Lou Milligan of Mill Cove, Lunenburg Co., is this year’s donor of Nova Scotia’s Christmas tree for Boston.
The large evergreen is an annual thank-you gift to the city for help provided after the 1917 Halifax explosion.
“On behalf of the province, I want to thank Mrs. Milligan for donating this year’s beautiful tree to represent Nova Scotia,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Natural Resources. “This year, we are sending this gift of gratitude to the people of Boston for help we received, while also remembering their suffering during last spring’s sad incident at the Boston Marathon.”
The 15 metre (47 foot) white spruce is about 40 years old and will be the 42nd tree sent to Boston since the tradition began in 1971.
About 2,000 people were killed and hundreds more were left injured and homeless by the explosion. Boston was quick to provide medical personnel and supplies.
“We are very grateful to the Milligan family for generously donating this year’s tree which is Boston’s official Christmas tree,” said Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston. “The beautiful evergreen will brighten the holidays for the public on Boston Common and we are pleased that the rich gift-giving tradition continues with our friends in Nova Scotia.”
A crew from the Department of Natural Resources will cut down the tree on Mrs. Milligan’s property during a public ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 12, beginning at 10 a.m. The province will transport the tree 1,117 kilometres to Boston.
The tree-cutting ceremony will include representatives from the province, the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia, hundreds of local school children and RCMP in red serge uniforms.
“I’ve known a few people who’ve donated trees to the Tree for Boston tradition and I always thought that my tree would make a good choice,” said Mrs. Milligan. “I wanted to wait until my grandson was old enough to appreciate the tree and the ceremony; this year the timing was right. I’m excited to count the rings on the tree because I don’t actually know how old it is. I like the idea very much that my tree is becoming part of Nova Scotia history!”
After the ceremony, the tree will travel to Grand Parade at Halifax City Hall where, at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13, there will be a final public farewell. Nova Scotians are also welcome to attend the Halifax ceremony, and sign a large thank-you card for Boston.
The tree lighting will take place on the Boston Common, Dec. 5, at a ceremony attracting about 30,000 people and broadcast live on the ABC Boston television channel.
The province encourages Nova Scotians to help search for the perfect Nova Scotia tree for Boston, for future years. Anyone knowing of a white or red spruce or balsam fir that is 12 to 15 metres high (40-50 feet), with good symmetry, and easy road access, should contact their local Natural Resources office or http://novascotia.ca/treeforboston. The website also has details on this year’s tree-cutting ceremony.
People can also follow the tree’s travels on Twitter @TreeforBoston and “like” the tree on Facebook at www.facebook.com/treeforboston.