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Diamond Park awaits artificial replacement after Christmas tree snaps

A few twigs are all that remains of the 25-foot Diamond Park Christmas tree
A few twigs are all that remains of the 25-foot Diamond Park Christmas tree after it snapped and fell on Friday night. The evergreen will be replaced by a pole tree draped with string lights. Irina Bucur/Butler Eagle 12/02/23

A 25-foot pole Christmas tree will soon illuminate Diamond Park with twinkling lights, and replace a large evergreen that snapped Friday, Dec.1.

The top of the evergreen and a silver ornament were all that remained of the Christmas tree in Diamond Park on Saturday afternoon. The tree, which is put up and decorated annually by Butler Downtown and other organizations, was placed before dawn on Nov. 21.

The tree stood at 25 feet and weighed nearly 1,000 pounds before it snapped, said Jeff Geibel, president of the Butler AM Rotary Club and former president of Butler Downtown.

Geibel said the donated Christmas trees get bigger each year.

“At this point, the trees are too big for the base,” Geibel said. “They need trimmed with a chainsaw to be fixed, and that weakens the trunk.”

Disproportionate weight put pressure on one side of tree, causing it to snap at around 7 p.m. Friday night, Geibel said.

A group of Butler Downtown volunteers gathered to clean up the scene, Butler Downtown president Audrianna Bly said. Geibel said volunteers cut the tree apart with a chainsaw, hauled away the remnants and cleared the debris with a leaf blower.

By 2 p.m. Saturday, the remnants of the tree had been hauled away and the park was clear.

Geibel said the artificial replacement is made up of cool blue string lights on a flag pole and has already been ordered. It will be installed before Christmas, he said.

“It’ll look nice lit up at night. It’ll be easier, (involve) less work and it will be safer for the community,” Geibel said.

The event follows a similar incident that took place in late November, when a Christmas tree toppled in front of the White House due to wind gusts.

“If it can happen at the White House, it can happen in Butler,” Geibel said.

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