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New Bedford still searching for the perfect Christmas tree

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) -- With the holiday season right around the corner, city officials in New Bedford have their events planned and entertainment booked. But they're still missing one key element.

They still don't have a tree.

"We are in desperate need of a Christmas tree," Dagny Ashley, the city's director of tourism and marketing, said.

Ashley said the city is looking for someone to donate a 30-foot tree to save their Christmas.

"Someone may have a tree on their property that needs to be removed," Ashley explained. "Our Department of Public Infrastructure will gladly go to their property and remove that - if they're looking to donate a tree to the city."

Usually, a private individual will offer to donate a tree to the city, but nobody has stepped up so far this year. This means that New Bedford's Christmas is in jeopardy until someone comes to the rescue, Ashley said.

"We're a little panicked," she said.

The city will display the tree on the steps of the Public Free Library downtown for an official tree lighting, along with the city's other holiday activities.

"The events are planned, all the festivities, entertainment," but the party can't go forward without the centerpiece, Ashley said.

Ashley said if a suggested tree is less than 30 feet tall, they're willing to consider that too. A Balsam fir would be perfect, but other species could be considered -- the tree needs to have a point on top, too, for a star.

The lighting is the first Saturday in December. The tree needs to be put up a week before, around Nov. 24.

Ashley is hoping they don't have to come up with a plan "B."

"There's a tree out there with the city of New Bedford's name on it," Ashley said.

Anyone who has a tree for consideration should contact the New Bedford Mayor's Office at (508) 979-1410.

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