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Tahoe City lights "The Big Tree".

Progress sidestepped nature when engineers were persuaded to split State Highway 28 in 1929 to wrap around a 120foot Jeffrey pine in Tahoe City, California. Since then, the tree has survived pavement-covered roots, repeated car wrecks, and years of de-icing salts. Known to locals as "The Big Tree," it is a symbol of civic pride and a focal point of the community.

For years, the tree was decorated with Christmas lights, but, because of its strange double trunk, it never resembled a Christmas tree. Also, burned-out bulbs were difficult to replace.

In 1986, the Tahoe City Rotary Club came up with a solution: a tree-like, 12cable ftame supported by the pine's upper branches (see illustration at right).

Every fall, the highway closes briefly, while volunteers remove the cables with the help of local arborists; they then stretch the cables out in a nearby school yard and re lace all 864 colored bulbs.
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Title Annotation:Christmas tree
Date:Dec 1, 1988
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