Oh, Hermiston Christmas tree, what a life you have led - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oh, Hermiston Christmas tree, what a life you have led

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HERMISTON, OR -  It might be a bit too early to start singing 'Oh, Christmas Tree,' but you probably can in Hermiston. Right in front of City Hall on NE 2nd Street there is a massive spruce tree all ready for its holiday decorations. However the real story is how that tree got there and that starts with an amazing Oregon couple, Larry and Marjorie Davidson.

The couple has photo albums with pictures of their beloved spruce tree at their quiet and rural Hermiston home, all decorated for the holidays at just ten or so feet tall back in the 1990's - but even that isn't where this tree's story starts. Larry planted it there.

"It was about four feet tall and now it's about 30. It's been there for thirty-some years," said Larry. Before that, the tree was a little sapling growing in the Umatilla National Forest. One day Larry dug it up and took it home. He threw it in the garden one day and forgot about it.

"About a year later my wife said, you know that little tree you threw in the ground is growing," said Larry, and the tree didn't just grow. It put down some serious Oregon roots.

"It's lived in Milton-Freewater, it's lived in Pendleton and now it lives in Hermiston... So that's the story of the tree," said Larry.

Each time the couple packed up and moved for Larry's job with Oregon State Police, they dug up the spruce to go with. This week the tree made its final move.

"As soon as last year's event was over we got a phone call from Larry and he goes ' do you guys have a tree next year? Because I have the perfect tree,'" said Larry Fetter with Hermiston Parks and Recreation.

For the Davidson's, sharing the 30'+ tall tree is mutually beneficial.

"I know it's too big for my 16-foot ladder," said Larry.

The City of Hermiston and Umatilla Electric Cooperation grabbed the ladders and the boom lifts for this traveling tree. This Christmas it will sit in the middle of the street in front of City Hall.

"Kind of mixed emotions. I'm going to stand there and wander around people and not say anything and see what they say. It's time for us to let somebody else see it and use it. We're ready to let it go," said Larry.

The Davidson's plane to replace the spruce with an Arkansas black apple tree. The spruce is set to be donned with lights in mid-November and a tree lighting event is planned for Thursday, December 1st followed by a full month of holiday celebrations with the spruce as the centerpiece. 

More information on the holiday events can be found here