With GOP convention out of way, St. Paul officials eye holiday time

Now that Rice Park is clear of broadcasters, the Ecolab Plaza threat level has shifted from orange back to green and the only ones protesting in Hamm Plaza want the Original Coney Island to reopen, St. Paul officials are looking hard — again — for giant pine trees to put in those three spots for the upcoming holiday season.

They’ve got to hurry, because Christmas decorations could go up at Macy’s any minute now.

A search for trees this summer generated 60 leads, but all were too small. So they’re trying again.

The deal is, city foresters need big trees — 75 feet to 95 feet high, and nicely filled out. Usually they’re trees that have to be cut anyway, because they’re too big for the lot or infringing on a porch.

The city will cut it down and grind the stump. In return, the owner gets a tax deduction. Last year’s trees were appraised at values ranging from $3,000 to $6,000.

Interested? Call St. Paul’s Forestry Department at 651-632-2431. Or e-mail a suggestion with a digital image of the tree and address to rachel.kutil@stpaul.gov.

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