AS OF THIS moment, it hasn’t arrived. At the corner of Main Street and Capitol Avenue, orange fencing lines the perimeter of the jackhammered brick lot rendered to rubble. A large black cylinder, like a charred smokestack, rises 5 feet from the ground, hollow. Soon, though, there will be a tree—the largest downtown Little Rock has ever seen. A white fir tweezed from the high altitudes of the south Oregon woods via cables and helicopter, its weight marked in the neighborhood of 4,200 pounds. After being trussed up in early November and trucked down to Arkansas, it’ll be capped off with a glass topper from artist James Hayes and in place by Thanksgiving. P.S.: If you happen to see Chris Tanner, the owner of Samantha’s Tap Room, be sure to tell him thanks. After all, the idea behind the tree is largely his doing, this gift to us all.
Editor’s note: Originally, the tree was going to be a 57-footer weighing in at 6,500 pounds; however, after that tree was vandalized—someone evidently used it for target practice with a shotgun just days before it was due to be shipped to Arkansas—the folks at Jones Forest Products scrambled and found this year’s replacement.
40 feet: The height of this year’s tree
15: The number of gallons of water a 40-foot tree will initially go through each day
25-30: The number of trees harvested each year by Jones Forest Products
2,500-6,500 pounds: The weight range of trees harvested
90 feet: The height of the largest tree they’ve had in recent memory (10 years ago, delivered to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom)
48 feet: The length of the flat-bed trailer used to transport trees across the country (After they’re harvested, the trees are then trussed tight with a baler, which helps transport them.)
$38,000: The cost of the tree, lights and topper, secured by the Downtown Partnership through private donors
19: The number of pieces—twists, curls and spikes—that make up the glass topper
27 pounds: The weight of the topper